For whatever reason, the subliminal part of my conscience envied this guy and his bottle of whisky as we hopped aboard the train. Where else would you expect to drink from your bottle on a mode of public transportation other than Japan? Dunno, but as soon as I'm back in Australia...
Our main reason for travel last weekend was to view these gorgeous and precious Japanese commodities: cherry blossoms, a.k.a. sakura. We found them. See? (Look to the left.)
An old Japanese proverb, translated for your ease of understanding the photo to the right: 'He who hath sakura between his teeth must wash it down with much castle juice.' We placed another tick in the "have tried it" box and stumbled back to the train tracks.
The natives were out in force and sampling from many of the (obviously) delicious sakura juice trees before we had a chance to have a go. Luckily for all concerned, there are more grog shops in Japan than drunks of the feathered variety. Kampai!
On the train down the peninsula we encountered this lady looking freaky with her purple-tinged fringe. When I mentioned how offended I was to be in the company of such an abhorrent hairdo, she demanded that I take a candid B&W photo while she wasn't looking. I just didn't get it.
Every passenger aboard the train was in an uproar once I discovered nobody was driving the fucking thing. We were heading straight into a dark void when I exclaimed, "Oh, fucking shit my Christ!" It was a stroke of pure genius because the crowded car instantly transformed into a sea of empty seats.
I wasn't lying. But thanks for thinking that I was.
Our Japanese-style room was lovely. And we had our own crapper right next door, although it wasn't one of the weird-arsed squat-loos.*
The only way I can function first thing in the morning without cramming my fist down someone's throat is to take a breather at a quaint coffee shop that serves ordinary cups of coffee for $6 a pop. For no extra cost, this particular coffee shop threw in a miniaturised serve of milk for anyone claiming to have a miniaturised cat. Since no proof was required everyone was happy to play along and I got my fucking milk.
Once we were finished with the world's worst coffee at the world's most inflated price, we got the hell out of the coffee shop. It was raining and our socks were saturated within the first two minutes, but so what?
We continued to walk around and eventually found a place of spiritual guidance to get our chi sorted. After all, caffeine plus negative vibes = a lethal cocktail. Nice ai?
We were getting kinda tired. Then we found a really spunky place to sit and shoot the shit while sipping hot liquids. Much like on Adelaide's famed Rundle Street, the in-crowd was too much to compete with so we gave them a one-finger salute and kept walking.
By the time we had had enough and were on our way back up the coast, the weather decided on one last fling. Who were we to argue?
This was the closest we came to seeing Fuji-san. The crowds at Fuji station were there for a sakura viewing day. I'm guessing they were disappointed beyond words.
Anyway, when all was said and done, the weekend was fantastic. My only regret was not being able to make my way down to Shirahama (the famed beach at the southern tip of Izu) for an hour or two of surf gazing and photo taking. Meh. Nothing lost.
* No photos because there wasn't one. Geddit?