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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2014/02/13 09:55:55 (February 2014).

[Wednesday 12th February 2014]
Chie usually likes to plan a little excursion during a stay in Hiroshima. This time she arranged for us all (including Chie's Grandma) to go to an onsen on Yashiro Island, which we could get to via the local Sanyo line which runs along the coast in this part of Japan.

We set out in the afternoon. I think the train was only meant to take a bit over an hour, but as it happened we were stuck for something like 45 minutes in a little station called Fuju, the other side of Iwakuni, as a car had got trapped on a level crossing.

So it was about 5pm by the time we finally got to our hotel - a little shuttle bus came to pick us up at Obatake station, to take us over the green bridge that links Yashiro Island to the mainland.

Dinner was the usual lavish affair that we always seem to end up with in a ryokan, served in one of the rooms (although for some reason neither of the two rooms our group were staying in). By prior arrangement they'd made a pretty concerted effort to make a vegetarian version of the feast for me. There were a myriad of small dishes (I always feel sorry for whoever has to wash up when eating this kind of cuisine).

After dinner everyone else went for a dip in the communal baths - as is typically the case there are separate male and female baths, and Chie said it was a highlight of the whole trip to Japan to be able to go to the baths with four whole generations of her family - from Erika right up to Erika's Great Grandmother. I on the other hand though thought I'd just make use of the "rotenboru" (outdoor bath) we had attached to our room. I sat there in the hot water, with a beer, looking out across a dark sea back to the mainland.

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