This weekend was one that just about everyone in the Takadonababa dorm was looking forward to all summer long. The final Temple-sponsored trip of the summer was an overnight trip to Shirohama Beach. Honestly, I was originally hesitant to sign up for this one since beaches aren’t my favorite thing in the world, but I felt that the beach experience would be better with friends. I wasn’t wrong. This trip turned out to be a blast.
The hotel we stayed at was amazing. Not only was the inside much nicer than the hotel at Gunma, but it also had a beach right out back as well as a gorgeous view of the ocean. My roommate and I stayed up for the sunrise, and it was a beautiful sight to see. The food there was great too. Of course, there was an onsen, and we all really enjoyed soaking in there as well.
Even though rain prevented us from actually going to the beach on Saturday, Sunday made up for it with sunny skies, big waves, and water that was just the right amount of cold. TUJ was kind enough to give each of us beach items to use during the day. I got a pump water gun, which turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. A few people, including me, got into heated battles in the ocean, diving behind others, swimming under opponents, shooting from above another person’s head, blocking shots with boogie boards, and even using two water guns at once. I never knew water gun fights could get so intense!
Speaking of boogie boards, the waves were just right for some great boogie boarding. They were strong enough to take a rider a long way but not large enough to overwhelm most people. I along with five other people ended our time at the beach by having boogie boarding races to the shore. I would consistently come in the top three, mainly because I was one of the riders with the most experience. My uncle is the master of boogie boarding and would do anything to get his nieces and nephews to learn a thing or two on the board. I think I made Boogie Boarding Pete proud that day.
There was a lot of traffic on the way home from the beach, but I tried making the best of it. Besides getting some much-needed sleep on the bus, I also looked around each pit stop for something cool I couldn’t find anywhere else. My search paid off. I found yet another key chain, this time of Frieza from Dragon Ball Z along with Mt. Fuji. I’ve never seen anything like it before, so I’m glad I found it. I also got my mom a nice little trinket, but I won’t spoil what it is! Overall, Shirohama was a fantastic experience, and I’m very glad I decided to come along.
Earlier this week, my friend showed me a cafe she had her eye on for a while called the Milky Way Cafe. The cafe was really cute. It was covered in stars, and there was a parfait for each of the 12 zodiac symbols, as well as other delicious star-themed dishes. I ordered my sign, Scorpio, and was amazed with what I saw. Mine was a small bowl of corn flakes topped with several scoops of delicious vanilla and chocolate ice cream with dabs of custard cream, chocolate bites and chocolate straws, four giant graham crackers, and two star cookies on top. As a major fan of sweet things, I can say that this was easily the best thing I’ve eaten my entire stay in Japan, and I’ve had some pretty good food this summer. I’m extremely happy that I went, and I will never forget my first official parfait.
With finals coming up, I’m going to be pretty busy during my last weeks in Japan. However, I have made some room for a few more interesting things to see and do, so I’ll be sure to talk about them as they come up. Until then, Sayōnara from Japan!