14 Tsuruoka: Serious scenery issue

Morning in Tsuruoka: Walked from Hotel StayIn to Degansu, a mature concrete building selling souvenirs.  (Degansu is local variation on desu – the word for is/am/are). 

Bought postcard of an aubergine for my Mum and borrowed a mamachari bike.  Promised to return it by 4pm.  A big mistake.

The ride:  On impulse, chose to ride to Yunohama Onsen, 15km away.  On way out-of-town, passed a MASSIVE DIY store.  Then miles of flat road, green rice fields on either side. Went past another MASSIVE DIY store. Exactly the same one. Started again.

Inexplicably, eyes began to grow sore. Kept stopping to rest them.

Kamo, Rainbow beach, next to aquarium: Blue sea enclosed by grey concrete; its waters tamed by tetrapods and tidal walls.  Sand section looked suspiciously like gravel. 

Theme from GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) boomed out of loud-speaker. Watched it last winter on Youtube after recommendation from bubbly girl in guesthouse. Her ex-boyfriend had forced her to watch every episode.  Several times.

Eyes now working on 1 minute shifts: Open, Close, Open, Close.

Between craggy cliffs, building Rainbow beach at all was an achievement.  Kids were enjoying it, swimming and searching for sea urchins.  Beach had only just opened: from 21st of July to 16th August this year.

Yunohama Beach: Huge sandy beach with Statue of Liberty on the edge of car park.  Headed to beach shack for lunch. Eyes now shutdown for 1 minute, switch on for 5 seconds.  Just enough to identify sausage and poteto furai

Took ALOT of photos before leaving.

Returning bicycle: Pushed and pedalled along pavement during viewing times. Prayed and panicked during the darkness.  A green cross came to the rescue: A chemist.  Impeccably served.  Man seemed genuinely concerned; I was probably his first blind man on a bicycle.  He even read me the eyedrop instructions, adding: “No no no, the drops go into your eyes, not the whole dispenser!” 

Made it back to Degansu by 4:30. Now I feel healed and humbled.

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