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May 12th 2016
Published: May 12th 2016
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Togi to Wajima
Despite the thin (very) straw mattress and pillow made of cattle nuts I had a reasonable sleep on the floor. You may guess what we had for breakfast, yes you are correct - fish. To our delight the weather had changed, as predicted, and we had sun and temperatures rehanging from 17 23 degrees. Firstly we had a talk about the Shinto religion and how you enter the shrine and the rituals. Walk along the path to the shrine building on the edge not the centre. Ring the bell, bow, two claps, pray and finally bow twice before reversing out. Just north of the town of Togi is the longest bench in Japan, and possibly the world, where we were swamped by about 200 school children in their magnificent sailor suit uniforms. The coast is now changing and we sea many rice paddies at various states of progress. Some lying fallow, a tractor mechanically stirring up the silt beneath the water and then a tractor planting rice into water filled paddy. Quite noticeable today along the cliffs were the number of Red Kites circling overhead and their young squawking for food in the nests above us. As we
progressed north it became like Cornwall with rugged cliffs and rocks off the coast with the sea beating into them with some ferocity. Noticeable today were several old ladies bent double through working the rice fields and were walking along the road being supported by wheeled shopping trollies. Sad.
A visit was made to an old traditional house which once belonged to a trading family who owned seven ships which traded up and down the coast going as far north as Hokkaido. Now the climbing started with climbs up hairpins with gradients of up to 13% and totalling 800 metres. Wajima is a typical fishing town with loads of fishing boats in the harbour - perhaps more than Britain has now in total. Total miles so far this trip- 90.

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