“Yes, we have a spare room. Without meals, it will be 4,500 yen.”
“Ok, I`ll take it.”
Perfect, I thought. The ryokan was right by the Japan Sea in Fukaura, a beautiful little fishing port lying at the foot of the World Heritage Shirakami mountain range. Out the ryokan window I would be able to see the boats unloading at the port.
“Could I have your name please?”
With this everything changed. Even over the phone the onset of panic was palpable. Our conversation stopped. I could hear her muttering. “Etto……..etto….doshiyo…..etto.” Uttering my name has never provoked such an extreme reaction. It was as if I had introduced myself as Genghis Khan and asked her to prepare 10 vats of sake for my visiting hordes.
“Chotto, muri no yo desu.” (It appears to be impossible)
I could have argued but that would have neither of us any good. I thought about throwing a stone through the window but my visa is up for renewal next month. And I would have missed.
I am sure she must have a good reason why Tom is impossible. So I gave up. I promised myself I`ll go back though. Just next time I`ll bring a tent.