I slept in for the first day in a while; after first being woken up around 6:30 by the Amami tsunami warning system. Testing the speakers that play music and gives a short announcement in the morning, as well as the afternoon and evening. I quickly went back to bed till around 8:30. There was rain and on-shores for the day so, I took a walk on the beach to see the reef at low tide and collect some shells. When I returned, I hung and had my pastry and coffee while I got caught up on some computer work. It grew later into the day and I was getting hungry. Tatsu, the manager of the guest house recommended an okonomiyaki place that had veggie only okonomiyaki that was a little ways up the road and I could take the bike to it.
I found it on a map and set out for it. It turned out that it wasn’t so close… and also not there anymore. As I got to the spot on the map, I passed the location a few times and didn’t see anything. Then I just asked Obasan waking by about it. She wasn’t sure of it, so she flagged down the next car and I asked about the okonomiyaki restaurant. He said that it was no longer there. So I asked for a recommendation for an okonomiyaki restaurant nearby and they said that there was not one nearby but in Naze, the biggest city on the island. I’d come this far, so I was determined to get some okonomiyaki. I set off for Okonomiyaki Mangetsu in Naze and by this time it started to rain a little more.
There was a big uphill section ahead of me, but luckily, there was a tunnel and some downhill after that.
I got to Mangetsu and it turned out that there was nothing vegetarian on the menu. However, I was able to get them to make me some yakisoba without any meet in it though. I knew that that wouldn’t be enough sustenance to get me home so I stoped by a market to get a some onigiri and some other groceries for the meals I make at the guest house.
By the time I left Naze to go bak to Tebiro Beach, it was really starting to rain, and there was probably only 30 min of daylight left. And I was soaked by the time I got to the tunnel just outside the city. As I passed the next little town before the hilly country road back to Tebiro, the only thing that kept me on the 2ft wide path was the light of the cars passing. Then when no cars would come, I’d be blinded momentarily in the dark before my eyes would have just enough time to adjust before another car would come by and blind me with the light.
Regardless of the fact I didn’t get my Okonomiyaki, I was soaking wet, exhausted, and temporarily blind; I was still having the time of my life navigating the roads in Japan on a rusty old cruiser bike that was not meant for hills.
When I got back to the guest house, I was able to just make dinner and hang out with the rest of the guests ( Shinpei and another fellow that I forgot the name of) in the kitchen. Eventually, Another guest arrived (Mami) and had come from India on her way back to Japan and she had brought a Djembe back back with her.
I mentioned that I played drums and taught music and she brought it out into the kitchen and I played it a little. At one point a little later, she said, “sensei, oshiete” (teacher, show me). And I showed her some djembe technique, and eventually I got everyone playing something from the kitchen and we had a short jam session. A good time just hanging out with new friends; sharing language, sharing culture. Exactly what I came here to do.