May 19, 2012 we said goodbye to the Saito family and left Nagoya and crossed over Japan towards Fukui close to the Japan Sea. We had been avoiding western Japan because in the winter it tends to be colder and has a lot of snow. Eastern Japan is moderated by a warm ocean current.
We took a highway bus and were picked up at Takefu just prior to Fukui by Satomi Furuki. This began a two day whirlwind tour of this part of Japan. Satomi was in Winnipeg about the year 2000 and did a wonderful job of touring us by car around her area of Japan which Yayoi and I had never seen. She like so many people we have met is a very generous warm hearted and capable person.
We had a very nice soba (buckwheat) noodle lunch and then went to see Tsurugi Jinja (shrine). This shrine was used by the Oda Nobunaga family four hundred years ago. Then we drove along a beautiful sea coast highway viewing the Japan Sea and the interesting rock formations. Later we checked into a Japanese style inn or Ryokan, where three of shared a room and where the toilet facilities were shared by all the rooms on our floor. We went a few kilometers up the road to an Onsen or hot spring and had a bath in pools outdoors overlooking the ocean. Paradise!
Satomi kept emphasizing that we should come back in winter. It does not snow right on the coast and the waves are huge then even washing over the highway. She is very proud of her part of Japan.
Then back to the Ryokan for a fabulous countless course dinner. This area is famous for crab (crab season is in winter normally) and we were able to eat crab and many other dishes until we were 'stuffed to the gills'.
In the morning we had a fabulous breakfast and then headed off to see Tojimbo (suicide rocks) and a very famous Buddhist temple (tera) called Eiheiji used for training priests or monks and also for one day sessions for business employees.
Click on link to see photographs on Picasa Japan Sea.