Snorkelling off the Rocky Coastline
After our visit to the floating aquarium we rode our bikes west along the coastal path that followed just above the waterline. The seashore was lined with rocks and ragged cliffs and the water was both calm and clear. At some point the boys stopped and said that they wanted to go for a dip to refresh and snorkel to explore if they could find some fish. The boys had just entered the water when some curious Japanese boys, a few years older than Jerome, came along the path and joined them in the sea. Unfortunately the rocks were rather uncomfortable to sit on so we eventually moved on after the boys had finished with their snorkelling, which had proven to be rather disappointing anyway.
Sandy Little Cove
On the hill ahead we could see an eye sore of a hotel building towering above the bay. We reached the main coastal road again underneath the hotel, luckily there were few cars out and about and we soon reached a little cove. There was a small sandy beach backed by large cliffs. To get to the beach we had to climb over a harbour wall and a local helped us find the right way down. There were other families around and Jerome immediately played with some of the kids in the water. The other children had funny swim rings and Jerome took his float into the sea instead. They were splashing together and totally content with each other despite the language barrier.
Jumping into the Sea
At the right end of the beach we could see a concrete wall protruding into the sea. We watched some teenagers that were jumping into the seawater from the top, again and again. Sadly the sun moved behind the cliff at some point and we decided to move on, but not before we had a look at the beach to the other side of the wall.
The beach, Nabatehama, was much busier than the little cove we had been on. There were tents and parasols dotted across the entire length of the sand. The water was just as clear and calm and it seemed to be very popular with local families, however we preferred the seclusion of the little cove next door.
Omurice for Lunch
Opposite the beach was café/restaurantつぼやwith a few tables on the terrace. The sign out front advertised basic dishes like omurice (omelette filled with rice) and spaghetti. Up until then we had not actually realised that we had not had a decent lunch and were actually starving. On impulse we decided to have food there, rather than later back in town. The mama-san and chef were quite intrigued by us, we think that it rarely happened that gaijin tourists strayed into their restaurant. They were very helpful with taking our orders, despite them not speaking a word of English and us no Japanese.
Tasty Home Cooked Food
While we waited for our food, a cat came to our table and was happy enough to be stroked by Jerome. We did receive the right dishes and the food tasted home cooked. We decided that the restaurant might be good place to come for breakfast on one of the days in Shimoda. The chef came outside to have look at our bikes, from what I could understand he was fascinated by the fact that they were folding bikes, at the time still an unusual sight in Japan.
Cycling back to Rendaiji
They said goodbye to us with a friendly “sayonara” and we cycled back into town. Instead of riding along the coastal path we took the main road up the hill and all the way back to Rendaiji. At our ryokan we soaked our tired legs in the hot tub of the onsen and enjoyed a relaxing bath before bed.