Continuing from the last post, I was bored and hungry during lunch time, so I went down the hill a bit and found a cable car station. The cable car went all the way up the mountain and promised a restaurant at the top. Despite the horrible weather, and despite the warnings of the ticket lady that I would not be able to see anything from the top because of the rain, I paid 1200 yen and went up the mountain. I then proceeded to take the space elevator and did a space walk.
Well, no. But I did reach the top of the mountain which was about 660 meters high, and had a nice lunch. I played Sokoban on my digital camera for a while hoping for the weather to clear up, but that didn’t happen. When I went down again to catch the cable car back to the surface a guy told me I had to wait for 10 minutes for the cable car to arrive, and that I could wait inside with him. We talked a bit, and I told him that I wanted to go the city center to get some food for tonight. The guy, Kojima-san, told me he would finish working soon and could pick me up at the youth hostel in an hour or so, since he was going to the city center anyway. Great!
Later Kojima-san picked me up at the youth hostel and he kidnapped me. He didn’t take me to the city center, but he brought me to his house instead, where his wife had a very surprised look on her face when we walked in. We talked a bit, and Kojima-san made a reservation for dinner in one of his favorite restaurants in the city center, and arranged for some of his friends to join us. Before that he took me to a standing bar where we ate yakitori and drank a bit. I realized that not drinking for four weeks affected my alcohol tolerance. I’m getting drunk a lot quicker than before…
The dinner was absolutely amazing. We ate squid, but not just regular squid sashimi (raw squid), this thing was still moving! It was on a place right in front of me and it was still moving! When I touched it with my chopsticks its tentacles would move around and freak the hell out of me. WTF. We ate squid sashimi from the top of the live squid, and after finishing the sashimi ordered the chef to take the live squid back and cook it for us. Wow. I’m normally not that fond of squid, but this one was delicious.
Continuing to drink during the dinner I was fairly loose in the evening, and during the taxi ride back to the youth hostel I realized when we arrived that Kojima-san had already paid for everything. During the ride I had a fairly deep conversation with the taxi driver about Japanese crime rates and the difference between rich and poor in Japan.
Coming home to the youth hostel I talked a bit with Hamasaki-san, and he told me about a Japanese saying which goes “一期一会”. Ichi go, ichi e. A once in a lifetime encounter. I’m having a lot of those lately.
I’m building up a lot of gratitude towards the people that have helped me during my trip. I hope that in the future I will have a chance to forward the favor to other travelers. It’s a traveler’s debt, which continues throughout the ages because people are treated nicely when they are travelers, so they want to treat other travelers nicely when they can. I will certainly not forget this, and I will do my best to assist fellow travelers in the future. If everybody could be nice to each other the way we are nice to travelers, then the world would be a better place.
Also, Panakuro-san, if you’re reading this, please contact me by e-mail, because the e-mail address you gave me didn’t work. Thanks!