The other day, I visited Atami with my friend for two days and three nights. I wanted to go to Macao or Taiwan but since we didn’t have much time to prepare what to see nor would there have been enough time to see, we chose Atami.

It was unfortunately raining that day, but the shopping streets near the station had a lot of visitors. Every restaurant on the streets seemed busy at lunch time, so we walked a little bit far and had lunch in a small restaurant. Then we headed off to Atami Hihoukan(sex museum). I had wanted to visit there once.  

Viva! The Hihoukan


We got a round-trip ticket that came with an entrance ticket for Hihoukan, and got onto the ropeway. The women who came inside after us were obviously snack bar staff and the men, who were regulars at the bar. Of course, Hihoukan is not known as a fun park for adults for nothing. We might be the weird ones being two girls visiting together.

Getting off the ropeway, we stepped into the Hihoukan. An atmosphere of the Showa era was floating all over the place. Amazingly silly, everything there was about porn. Thinking, “Right, this was the place people talked about,” I kept going ahead.

Finding an omikuji machine , or a machine that tells you your fortune, I put a coin into it. Then a female attendant doll brought out a paper fortune. Nothing erotic at all, I thought. But soon I found out that the doll, who turned around to go back was bare-assed. Also, the paper fortune was named “The 48ways omikuji” and it said about sex. I got shokichi, which means small blessing. What is it supposed to mean? Anyway, I was impressed that every detail of erotica was well thought out.

There were a couple small theaters in the museum. Of course everything that showed were porns, so I got the are experience of watching porn with strangers. None of the plays were funny enough to crack up, so everybody was letting off a half smile.

After looking at all of exhibits, we ended up at the museum shop, which was full of porn goods. It was sad to go home empty-handed, so I bought The 48ways hanky. Who wouldn’t ? The simple illustrations of men and women were surreal and funny.

Though the Hihoukan is the place to visit when you travel to Atami, don’t go there with family or anyone you are not close enough with.

Though I didn’t know whether it came from the tour of Hihoukan or my daily stress, I was feeling tired in the ropeway on the way back. Walking in the crowd after getting off the ropeway, I heard someone hollering. Looking up, I found a naked old man raising his full height. He seemed to be showing off, like “Look at me!” Come to think of it, it is an act of indecency in public, but people on the way back from the Hihoukan were missing a few screws. We thought it was another exhibition or something. We already had seen enough. So no one didn’t care. It was also surreal and funny, which made me laugh.

Izusan Jinjya (shrine)


Izusan Jinjya (shrine) is well known as the place that Minamotono Yoritomo and Hojo Masako secretly met each other and also as the birthplace of Izu’s name. We were heading to the shrine on foot in the rain but soon we realized that the scale of the map we got at the tourist information office was random. We kept walking in the rain and arrived at the middle of steps to the shrine. There were more than 600 steps out of 837 from there. As it was after sunset, we puffed climbing upstairs in the dark.

When we finally made it to the shrine, there were only a few people. We were so satisfied with climbing up the stairs that we decided to leave soon after quickly glanced the event. Then we happened to be served sake by the locals who were standing by in a tent I thought it would come in a small glass like an ocyoko, but I was passed a bigger glass that was full of Sake. Because I didn’t want to be rude, with some effort I managed to drink the whole cup.

Unable to say no, my friend even had to have a second full glass of shochu. We also got two packs of sweet rice dumplings. Though sake soaked into my empty stomach, but talking with the locals is the spice of trip. I felt blessed. We were also lucky enough to find a cab on the empty street and got to Kasuke on time.



How many times did my fried sighed emotionally, “So good.” One after another the dishes were served, Mozuku (seaweed), steamed egg hotchpotch, fried taros with starchy sauce, grilled mackerel etc… Everything tested tenderly and very delicious. I was impressed that the cook’s attentive wife knew precisely when to give the guests hand towels.

Kasuke seemed to be a place for locals, so we were not really involved in the conversation with the others. However, we enjoyed good food and sake that brought the best out of ingredients. I was obsessed with the fried shrimps that came with a potato salad for a while. We were lucky enough to have gotten information about Kasuke from the local man. Delicious food makes you happy. After a nice dinner, we were in a very good mood on the way back to the hotel. I definitely want to visit there again when I go to Atami, or I might even go to Atami to visit Kasuke.

The Wish Granter Pino!


Though we were full, we stopped at a convenience store to buy some stuff. I bought the icream Pino. Back in the hotel room I opened the box expecting something nice , and I found that one of the six was a rare star-shap pino. This travel was for my upcoming birthday. Though I had gotten only a small blessing from the 48ways fortune telling, I felt that my 40th birthday was coming soon with some luck, which made my day.

To be continued in Day 2.

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“You are day off today, right? If you’re free, I will visit you in Tokyo with your dad.” My mother called me one day, and my parents came to Tokyo. They often do so whenever they like because they can buy senior discount train tickets.

After meeting up with them, who as always didn’t have anything planned, we decided to have lunch at Tsukiji. Before that, I stopped at the Apple store in Ginza to run an errand for about half an hour. My parents simply awaited for me doing nothing in particular. They didn’t seem to be interested in seeing around Ginza, so I decided to take them to Tsukiji. When we were about climb down the entrance stairs of the Ginza station, my father looked up the high buildings in the midsummer sunshine and nostalgically said with a bit of smile, “The neon lighting in Ginza was very beautiful. I didn’t want to go home.”

My father got a job in Tokyo before graduating university. However he received a telegram from home saying,

“Your father is in critical condition. Come home immediately. Your mother.”

He had no choice but to decline the job, gave the seat to his friend and decided to go home. However, when he got home, his father, who was supposed to be seriously ill was drinking cheerfully in the dining room. It was what happened almost fifty years ago.

It sounds like a bad joke or something, but I was sure they did it. My father’s parents were the typical “toxic parents”. As their granddaughter, I have never ever felt any affection from them, nor do I have any good memories with them. I hated them as evil people who tormented my parents. I have never understood their behaviors, and I will not able to know why they sent such telegram to my father either, because both of them are already deceased.

At Tsukiji, after we had a beer and Kaisen-don, or a bowl of rice topped with sashimi for lunch, we walked around for a short time. In no time, my mother said that she was taking my father home now because he seemed tired. It was a really hot day, so he might have got tired earlier than usual. But this is always the same pattern. We headed to Ueno, went in to a Japanese style café in Ueno station yard, had shaved ices there and said good-bye. 


“You’re leaving so soon after you came all the way to Tokyo,” I said this time as well. “We could see you doing fine. That’s more than enough,” my mother said, my father waved, and they disappeared into the entrance gate.

If my father had lived in Tokyo, what his life would be like? But if he hadn’t gone back to Fukushima, he wouldn’t have met my mother, nor would I have been born. Is this a matter of fate or destiny? Waving to my parents, I was amazed by the wonder of my existence here.

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