Much like President’s Day in America, Golden Week is a moment in time where revelers enjoy the fruits and the shade but pay no attention to the tree. Green Day, Children’s Day, Grapenut Day – these are basically ignored. Yet, crowds of gleeful, celebrating tourists pack in heaving clots throughout any of the major tourist destinations – their presence a scourge to me, though, technically, I, too, do not belong here. Our trip to Shirahama – also a major tourist destination – afforded us a pleasant shock when we realized that, despite its tourist trappings, the area surrounding our hotel was nearly desolate.
We shrugged. Fine with us. Please note the ultra white sand of Shirahama Beach – a special import from Australia.
Quite a craggy island, if I do say so myself.
There is much to be said for a little peace and quiet – Sakiio’s streets and neighborhoods are rough, burly and free from any breaks in concrete, though the absence of Golden Week crowds was, at times, a little creepy. Also slightly unsettling was the lack of Sakiio-style friendliness to foreigners – the service at the area’s restaurants was the coldest we’ve received since arriving in Japan; a crowd of cackling Japanese youths stopped stuffing their faces with yaki nikku long enough to swivel their necks and stare blatantly as we walked in and in another restaurant, the waiter gruffly took Sean’s order and turned to go before even asking what I would like. All one, of course – I don’t let such a thing spoil my enjoyment of peace, quiet and imported white sand.
On a similar tack, slightly amusing – depending on your outlook – was a gift shop find; nestled in a stack of T-shirts was a plain black tee printed with the words “White Rudeness.”
And to think America freaked out over the Abercrombie & Fitch “Wong Brother” tees.
…further pictures up in Picture Pages.