Kisakata, Japan

July 23 - 24, 2001

 Our Travel Experience

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Our Travel Experience

We had wanted to see the Japan Sea, so Kisakata turned out to be a perfect spot! We arrived here by accident really. A lady who spoke English recommended it to us at the tourist information office in Akita. Thankfully there was a small information office in the Kisakata train station where Tara picked up a map and got recommendations on cheap places to stay.

The train station was quite a ways from the beach, so we ended up walking through town. At first sight, it looked like an interesting small town. It became even more interesting after we saw the fishing harbor and the teenagers playing on the beach at night.

Tara, using her rudimentary Japanese, managed to secure a room for us at a cheap hotel directly across from the beach. We had a view of the water if we stood at the window and looked right. We ended up hanging out in the room for a bit before heading out for food. Seth fell asleep while Tara read and became aware of all the hawks flying around outside. Standing at our window, there was a cute pond directly below us, the Japan Sea off to our right and a large group of trees directly in front of us. The hawks were in the trees and would periodically take off to fly towards the water, sometimes landing on the beach. It was neat to see so much wildlife.

After Seth woke up, we headed out for food. We always turn down whatever "special dinner" is being served where we've staying. Seth especially dislikes seafood and we're 100% sure the "special dinner" would contain 100% seafood. So, why pay hotel prices when we can walk into town and find a good ramen, katsu don or beef curry dish? On our way to dinner, we explored the beach. It was windy! Seth loves the wind and Tara received a free facial by sitting on a picnic table with her face pointed directly to the beach. We saw many children on the beach and watched as they ran after their flotation devices that the wind was carrying away. It was an active beach, but not at all touristy. We hadn't seen any other foreigners since leaving Tokyo except for one man in Akita who ignored us.

Dinner was enjoyable. We picked a small restaurant right across from the beach. There were only two or three other people in the restaurant. While we ate, a man who delivered plants, brought a large plant into the restaurant. One of the workers told him where to put it and then paid him out of her bag of money. We talked a lot about what it would be like to live in a small town like this. About what sort of place we wanted to live in next. And about what what sort of jobs we hoped to have next. We'd just past our one year on the road mark, so the future was in our minds.

After dinner, we explored some more and finally ended up at the seawall just past a fishing harbor. We sat on this wall talking as the sun set. We could see a small lighthouse and rolling hills covered in clouds down the coastline. It was a nice place to sit and talk. Finally, though, we moved because the wall was also occupied by some large, unfamiliar bugs.

It was almost dark as we returned to our hotel. The beach we walked back along was still busy. Now there were groups of teenagers wandering along and shooting off fireworks. We chose a bench a safe distance away to watch. There was one group of guys who brought to mind Darwin's theory of evolution. We weren't sure this group was going to survive the night intact. They would put a firework in the sand, but not back away from it. Everyone looked like they were having a lot of fun and we again talked about what it would be like to grow up in a place like this where the big excitement was hanging out with your friends blowing stuff up. We decided to head inside before we got a firework in the face!

As always, someone had laid out our futons for evening and Tara enjoyed her usual pre-bedtime Japanese style bath before turning in. In the morning, Seth was still sleeping so Tara decided to head out, find some breakfast and maybe see a tourist attraction or two along the way. One map we'd gotten at the tourist office showed a waterfall not that far away. Tara's route took her by the fishing boats which were just returning at 7am. She also passed a variety of small shops where she bought Seth yogurt and pastries. The walk was very enjoyable, until it suddenly started to rain. The rain was pouring down and there was nothing Tara could do except get wet, really wet.  
Tara soaked from going out for breakfast
Seth enjoying his breakfast 
Soon thereafter, it was check out time. We'd been looking in the Fodor's travel book we'd borrowed from Tod and Kristen and decided to head South to Atsumi Onsen since we'd never been to a true Onsen town before.

Since we had no idea what the name of the hotel we'd just stayed in was, Tara took a photo of the slippers. This is actually a great memory, since every Japanese-style room we've ever stayed in has this type of slipper for you to wear in the hotel's common areas. They always fit Tara fine, but Seth has a few dificulties walking!

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