After that short stint in central Japan, all of us split up to make our way to the different prefectures either by domestic flight or shinkansen (bullet train). I really wanted to try the shinkansen, but I took the domestic flight to Shimane Prefecture instead. There are really way too many prefectures in Japan to take note of, and besides the standard, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I honestly had never heard of any other prefecture before. That, is really quite disappointing.
Made our way to the airport, and said goodbye to the others before that. Mixed emotions definitely. We got our boarding passes and lunch boxes before we boarded the flight; and we had time to roam around the airport for a little while.
(My solidarity group, SG-E, on the first morning together sharing our contingent cheers)
(My lunchbox. How pretty does that look?!?!)
(May, from Myanmar)
Arrived in Shimane, and it was freezing and pouring all at the same time. Help. We ran for the bus.
The bus took us to our courtesy call, before we headed to our hotel - New Urban Hotel.
We were all allocated to one room per person, which was a really unique and yet sad experience for me. Staying in a room by yourself is not exactly an exciting thing, especially when the walls are paper thin. Decided to take in the experience anyhow because then again, it is a once in a lifetime.
The keys looked like huge quartz necklaces. Got those after our intense onsen briefing.
They rented out yukatas, and all of us jumped at the chance of wearing one. It was free too, which was really cool. Bad weather to wear the yukata though since it was ridiculously thin, and it was pouring and freezing outdoors.
The Japanese youth kindly helped us with the complications of the yukata, and we wore it to dinner.
Dinner was in a separate building, and when we walked in, the traditional Japanese setting welcomed us. The spread was amazing. Just that many dishes for one person; its mad!
That spread of deliciousness consisted of locally caught fish, and even their famous local clams. What I found was that they usually cooked soup with the clams, and always had fish and soba; the two popular dishes in that prefecture.
Not wanting to be the first to jump into the onsen, Elton, Bela and I went on a rampage in the convenience store and we bought puddings and desserts to enjoy in my room. Just a little SPY bonding session. Sadly our icecream melted because my fridge wasn’t working; so we had matcha soup.
Food pretty much sums up my first night in a new territory. Day two in Shimane brings me to more food, and a whole other experience making Japanese sweets.
Watch the vlog here: