I made plans with Osamu today to surf Shida-Shida: the venue for the 2020 Surfing Olympics, and afterwards go to an onsen that he recommended. He picked me up around 8:30 and we headed to the point in south Chiba. It looked fun and the wind was good so we paddled out.
I got a few good waves at the beginning of the session and then it got a little more crowded and started closing out. Osamu said that the level of the surfers in Chiba and especially at Shida Point was probably the highest in Japan. There was a lot of young kids out, and they were ripping for sure. When it started to close out, I just kind of sat on the outside and waited for bigger sets to come and just gave a lot of waves away. It was also starting to get cold, so we called it for the day and I got my last wave in Japan. Afterwards, we went to a chain cafe called Cafe Gusto. It’s kind of like Denny’s But with Japanese food. Oishi!
As we were finishing our coffee, we chatted about the differences in education system in Japan and the US. I mentioned that I heard that many parents put a lot of stress on high school kids to pass entrance exams to get into university. He agreed and expressed that he wanted his kids to do something that they enjoyed and hoped that they would not stress too much over exams if they wanted to go to university later in life.
Next, Osamu and I made our way to the onsen. This place had at 9 different mineral baths, both inside and outside. This place was awesome and did not disappoint! After relaxing in the baths, we went upstairs and got vending machine ice cream. The perfect combination to spend my last full day in Japan: surfing, onsen, ice cream.
On the way back to Kujukuri, Osamu picked up his son who was at a soccer tournament that day. When I was dropped off, I urged Osamu and his family to come to California and we would host them and show him all the local surf spots. Kareforunia, ikute kudasai (please come to California).
Later that Evening, my host Takeo said that he would prepare dinner for the both of us. It was Sanma fish, (a fall specialty in Japan), rice with natto, and salad. I wouldn’t turndown my hosts meal tonight. The rest of the evening, we just enjoyed the space heater and some Japanese TV.