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Escaping the city heat (better known as summer vacation) II

Day 3 - Rishiri Island

View Summer Vacation 2006 on agc_cwm's travel map.

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We got off the train in Wakkanai. In our guide book it says the only reason you should go to Wakkanai is to go to Rishiri or Rebun. And at 06:00 that morning I definitely agreed, but I probably won't like any place I arrive in at 06:00, but I think that's just a technicality.

When we got off the train we had to give them our tickets again, but Court couldn't find her ticket. She checked all of her pockets, then for some reason she took her shoe off. This was where she had safely stashed her ticket the night before!

In Wakkanai you have the option of going to Rishiri, Rebun, or the Russian island of Sakhalin. So all the signs here are written in Japanese, English and Cyrillic.

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We were in Wakkanai long enough to get on the ferry. I ordered a coffee at the shop in the ferry terminal. When he showed me the cup it was about the size of an XS Tim's coffee, which just wasn't going to do. But, when I asked him if he had bigger sizes, he was shocked. It was as if no one asked him this question before. Plus I paid ¥300 for it.

We got on the ferry for another 1 and half hour ride. This ferry was more like the PEI ferry except they had a few rooms that everyone just sat or slept on the floor. We didn't have the foresight to grab one of these spots when we first got on and tried to sleep sitting in a chair.

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Probably the most interesting thing we found on the ferry was this:
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It was kind of hard to find the deck so we didn't actually get there, but I'm sure it's a lot fun there.

We had to call the youth yostel the night before and confirm our reservation. This was an interesting call because they didn't speak English and I don't speak Japanese. However, with the help of the Lonely Planet book we managed to get across that, yes, we had a reservation and what time we wanted to be picked up. And lo and behold someone from the Rishiri Green Hill Youth Hostel was there to pick us up at the ferry terminal.

We went straight to the hostel to check in and unpack and have a snooze. Which was what we needed. This is a shot of the youth hostel from the beach.

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Once we had a nap, we got up and started to wander around. We went down to the beach by the hostel and poked around and took some pictures.

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Being by the ocean again was an awesome feeling. You know you miss it, but you don`t realize how much until you feel the breeze on your face and hear the gulls in the air. Rockin`.

After tidepooling in some rather shoddy tidepools, we decided to walk down to where we caught the ferry, as we were hungry and knew there would likely be restaurants down there. The speciality in these parts is uni, sea urchin roe. They heavily promote this. We were not interested in partaking in this delicacy in the very least. I don`t eat echinoderm. And for the most part, Andrew doesn`t eat anything that isn`t readily identifiable. So we chose a restaurant that didn`t have uni in the window. The table staff laughed at us when we asked if they had an English menu. After she finished laughing at our table, she shared the joke with the kitchen staff, and they all had a big laugh about it too. We ended up having curry-rice and some kind of stew on rice. Edible, and somewhat delicious. The staff at the restaurant watched us like hawks; we were the only two people in the joint. And we weren`t Japanese. We paid our bill and left, on a quest for ice creamy goodness.

We found a place that had expensive soft-serve, and we got some, because we were on vacation. We walked some more, and decided we would climb this peak near the ferry docks called Cape Peshi. From the top there is an incredible view of the town, Mt Rishiridake, and the eastern side of the island. We hiked up the trails, past the lighthouse, and all the way to the top.

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Once we came down from this peak we decided to wander up and check out the hot spring. We didn't go in today but we saw that there was a golf course close by. I convinced Court we should go check it out and maybe play if it wasn't too expensive. We eventually found the course, but it wasn't real golf it was called Park Golf or as we started to call it Crolf or Goquet or in Japanese, Kururorufu. It was combination of golf and croquet. We used a ball that was between the size of a golf ball and a croquet ball and a club that was a cross between a putter, a hockey stick and a croquet mallet. Each hole was about 40 yards long and it only cost ¥200. It was quite entertaining.

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After all this walking, and because of all the travelling of the previous two days, we were pretty tired, so we made our way back down the hill and toward the hostel. At which point we were hungry again. We passed a konbini, covenience store, on our way, and we decided to grab supper there. We picked up some great yakisoba konbini bento, fried noodle convenience store lunch boxes, and some more ice cream, and I think some grilled cheese flavoured Pringles, and went back to the hostel.

We went for a little walk right after supper down a path to our right. We were just happy to be outside and not in the city. There were some great views and scenery and the moon by the mountain was excellent.

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We lucked out on our trip and landed on Rishiri right at the start of a festival. That night they were launching fireworks. In Osaka there was a huge fireworks festival going on. Everyone says that the view from the roof of our building is the best view in Osaka. We were a little upset about missing this, but went we sat on the grass on the top of this hill with the ocean on our left, a mountain on our right, stars above us and 15 Japanese people and 2 other Americans we realized that this was infinitely better than being crammed on our roof in Juso. The fireworks were really nice, but just being outside watching them was the best part.

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After this we played some cards and relaxed before we prepared for another day of adventure.

Posted by agc_cwm 23:20 Archived in Japan

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