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Japan – Dave’s Birthday day! Nanao 29th October

Happy Birthday to you….Happy birthday to you….Happy birthday dear Dave….Happy birthday to you!!! Today is my birthday! As you might have guessed. Who would have thought last year that I would be spending my 27th birthday in Japan! So, what to do to on my special day?

We decided to get out of Kanazawa and head to more remote parts of the country. Up early, porridge and toast for breakfast we head out to catch the train, using the Japan Rail Pass to the max. Our destination is north towards the coast, Nanao, Ishikawa to be precise. Tiredness was a slight issue on the train but we fought through and photographed other sleepy passengers. One women was even receiving some Reiki next to us from an elderly woman which also kept us entertained.

I felt the need to be “harbor bound” so we headed to the waters edge. It was a bit windy and there was handily no-one around, so we had a look out to sea and did a little jig of our own to celebrate my birthday. Helen was also in the mood for singing random songs and melodies which was a nice birthday present.

We wandered around at the sea front and then headed inland to the center of Nanao to see if there was some action taking place. There was plenty to photograph in the backstreets which was great fun and we captured some nice images. We were on the look out for some human ingenuity (a brief from a flickr group) and we found some plastic bottles that had been re-purposed into windmills. A few photos and we felt our submission is possibly complete.

Having to wait an hour for the next train up the coast, we headed for some food. Neither Helen or I eat donuts but we thought we would give Mister Donut a go as a special treat. It was an experience. Very light dough and subtle flavors, kind of baked rather than fried. Also it seemed that this was the local hangout for the OAP’s of the town. More exploration, some purchase of snacks for later and then off to the next town, Wakura Onsen.

This place felt a little strange to begin with. In the summer time / heyday this town must have been the equivalent to Skegness in the UK. It felt quite backwards and had an air of a horror film about it (the Wicker Man and a little of The Shining spring to mind). We carried on regardless, past the Karaoke drive through, and towards the sea front. We found a nice little park and also an amazing view out towards the sea from a foot onsen. This was bliss. Soak your feet and legs in some very warm water and look out to sea. Now this most definitely feels like a Birthday to remember.

After lots of photographs and some lunch at a picnic bench in the park we headed onwards to explore more of this tired town. We headed back on the fast train to Kanazawa and went out for some food at an Indonesian restaurant. Very nice. We cleared all the plates with ease. On for a few more drinks and some pudding, no less than grape (they love there grape flavors over in japan) ice-cream sundae. A lovely day was had by all. Thanks to the lovely Helen for singing to me with her dulcet tones and making my day special. Here’s to 28 next year!

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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