Sado-ga-shima, or Sado-the-island is a spectacular place that just has a different feel than the rest of Japan. I’m not sure exactly what it is; maybe it’s the laid-back feel of a small town, perhaps the influence of the Brazilian-hippie culture, or just the fact that it’s an island; that makes it so great.
I took the last ferry from Niigata to Ryoetsu, where Courtney picked me up in her outdated and over-heated car. We almost immediately went to meet up with Josh, Jamie, and Wayne for a couple free drinks (some dude gave Josh one maan (roughly $100, well probably more with today’s economy) and karaoke. Courtney was right about the wind howling at her apartment windows at night. Her place is located near a coast, and boy oh boy was it blasting!!
Saturday: after some of the most delicious ramen at Daimaru, we drove up the Aikawa coast to take in some spectacular views of the sea, and then headed to Ogi area to be in the magnificent mountains. We met up with the other ALTs of the island: Jessica, Susan, Matt, Josh, Jamie, Wayne, Sveta, Katie, and Yuuki (Sado man), for some cabin-in-the-mountain fun and dinner. Dinner consisted of the usual medley of various delicious Japanese foods. First came the salad, followed by the egg pudding, vegetables, potato fries, sausages, pasta, soup, pasta, onigiri, and kaki. Needless to say, I found myself uncomfortably stuffed for the billionth time since arriving in Japan. The cabin was a very tall structure that lacked warmth and running water. A fire was made in the stove, and we spent the evening playing games, eating Japanese snacks, and drinking hot cocoa and then some. Just when it was time for bed, we discovered hundreds of bugs in the futons and bedroom, so ended up all sleeping in the common area (and me with my ears covered to avoid any bugs crawling in).
Sunday: most everyone had to be up early due to Bunkasais and whatnot, so got up, packed up, cleaned up, and drove back down the mountain. Courtney had a few Bunkasais of her own to attend to, so in the mean time, I went to a Capoeira class which was AWESOME!!! We danced and kicked jumped to the beat of a berimbau (bow and arrow-like steal string instrument), panderios (tambourine), and atabasque (bongo-like drum). The ferry ride back was bouncy, and slightly entertaining with the live jazz cover band.
Some more pictures from Jessica Saiki: