Day 4 of my adventure in Japan started with a walk to the train station before we began our over 2 hour train ride to our seaside destination. The train ride was a nice changes of pace from walking everywhere in the humidity. Once we were out of the city we started to see more mountains, vegetation and also bits and pieces of the coast. It was the first time during the trip that we were able to see that much of the countryside. It was just as beautiful as I had imagined it from watching films like My Neighbor Totoro. My favorite part of the train ride was going into tunnels that and seeing the ocean as soon as we exited the tunnel.
After the train ride we arrived at a small seaside city and checked into our ryokan. The first item of business was to order some lunch. The meal was awesome and extremely large, taking up an entire platter. We spent the rest of the afternoon getting some much needed rest and relaxation. I spent the majority of the afternoon swimming in the ocean since this trip was the first time I had experienced the ocean.
After the afternoon swim, I went back to the ryokan and cleaned up for the festivities of the night. I sported my yukata that I picked up at Asakusa the previous day and we headed to the train station to venture to another nearby seaside town.
Tonight there were a few vendors selling various foods, most of the vendors would be open the next day. My high school friend and travel buddy was persuaded into eating food from one of the vendors after he sold him on eating something that looked like a corn dog covered in mayo and onions. A few of us grabbed some food as we made our way to the river for the launching of the lanterns.
There was very relaxing music being played as people would walk down the dock and launch lanterns. We were told that the lanterns had wishes on them and they were various colors. People lined up on bridges, the river front and everywhere else to take pictures and catch a view of the lanterns floating down the river.
We watched the lanterns for quite a while before we headed to a nearby ramen shop to get some eats for the night. At the shop was a local who was a big guy. We had a traveler in our group who was about his size and he was asking him how much he weighed and how tall he was because he was curious if he was going to train for sumo. It was quite the experience and made for a night filled with stories and laughter. We headed back to the ryokan for the night to get some sleep and start another adventure the next day.
*(In order from left to right) A seaside photo taken from the train outside of Tokyo, my large lunch platter of food, the view from our ryokan room, people launching their lanterns, a close up of lanterns that had grouped up near the side of the river.