Tokyo Damage Report

Japan trip 8: Kinkasan


Last night I showed the hotel lady my credit card and she said ok, but today she says, no, it won’t do. Plus, Plus, the banks are closed because it is a holiday. With the small amount of cash I have left, I can pay the lady, but then I will not have any left for the monkey island hotel, which is the whole reason I went there in the fucking first place!! Luckily she goes totally nuts and says I can “mail her the money later.” Jesus.

So I get stoked, take the ferry to monkey island, and go out on deck and watch the amazing plumes of spray this vessel kicks up. That, plus the huge noise, is hypnotic.

When we get to the island, i go to the hotel which is part of a Shinto temple (“jinja”). Check my bags and immediately go hiking. The courtyard of the jinja is a trip because the deer are so used to tourists they not only eat the food but chase little kids around trying to mug them for food. Fattest deer I ever seen in my life. Plus the fur is all nasty and patchy from eating shitty human junk food. These are like total nasty no-job-having drug-addicts of the deer world. Anyway I get my hike on, just up the mountain, covered with these crazy iridescent dung beetles that rule, and these tiny, thumbnail-sized baby frogs that are so dumb they will jump directly headfirst into a rock and just bounce off it. No sign of monkeys though.

Anyway the hike is awesome and on the far shore is this insane beach where it is all rocks like giant 20-foot-wide white boulders stacked in weird patterns and it is just cyclopean and awesome so of course I have to get drunk and just meditate on it, and read about Chinese POWs.

go here for a better panorama of the cyclopean-rock beach

Then I hike back to the hotel, and the dude at the front desk is not like “hi” or “how are you” or even “gee, you must be tired!” but all he says is “get in the shower now!” because he is quite a dick. The hotel is wack. Dinner is nothing but seafood, plus the venitian blinds on the balcony are made of fucking concrete which makes it look like a prison. I understand japanese architects love them some concrete, but VENETIAN BLINDS?? Dude, is your underwear concerete too?? Did your mama lactate concrete into your mouth when you were an infant?? What the shit, bro???

Also now is as good a time as any to point out that I have only done laundry one time on this trip, because mostly I am staying at pensions which do not have facilities. So by now I am surrounded by a dark blue haze of stench which makes people’s eyes water.

these bugs work with the deer to control the poop-being-everywhere problem

the elephant beetle.


above, trail to the top of the island mountain. below, mountaintop shrine (shinto not bhuddist)




even though I had basically no dinner last night I have to skip breakfast also, so I have time to hike the whole island in time to make the ferry out of here. As I am walking away from the hotel, some other old guy is all yelling at me and telling me to stop. Jesus, what the fuck is wrong with the douchebags at this hotel?? Like, what? I need a hall pass?? Will I get, like, detention??? I just yell daijoubu and keep walking, visions of angry hotel staff rifling through my suitcase and tearing up my hard disk dancing in my head.

That is the weird thing about travel: you meet people way nicer than you would ever meet ordinarily, and people way more assholish too. And of course, since they are all humans, the common denominator between the two types is; they ALL think that EVERYONE would do exactly the way THEY are doing, after all it is just common sense!!

Also about travelling by one’s self (i.e. not in a group tour) –there is an inherent amount of chaos about it. A certain amount of improvisation is required. And not only are Japanese not good at improvising solutions, they have a distinct cultural bias against it. Like us americans and our wacky bias against Darwinism. (except of the social variety). So just by traveling around it sort of puts you in conflict with Japanese. Seems like everywhere I go I am breaking a rule or some shit.

On the good side though, Japanese anal-retentiveness makes it easy to catch the train. The JR clerks will just drop everything and tell you not only what time the train comes but what time the connecting train shows up at the other end, how long your layover is, and how late the busses run. Try getting that in another country . . . besides Germany.

Anyway, this time I hike around the island in the opposite direction, from 6:30 until 1:30. still no god damn fucking monkeys!! Assholes!!!! In other news, The wild deer here are actually loud. I never heard American deer make a sound but these guys will actually shriek at you, like a shrill barking “fuck off!” kind of sound, and they really will not shut up about it.

Boat back to land without incident and I find a post office which means ATM which means money. Immediately run back to the hotel lady and pay her the money. She is pretty stoked about that. Then a long-ass non-express train ride to sendai. All the schoolkids are getting out and they pack the train. All these dudes have plucked eyebrows and rockstar hair and wear their schoolpants baggy like rappers. They all just act like they are the ultimate shit and it brings back bad memories of getting hassled on the school bus back in the ’80s. I keep thinking of that eminem song “take 14 kids from columbine, put them all in a line, add an ak47 a revolver a nine, a pistol ought to solve a problem of mine, and that’s a whole school of bullies shot up dead at one time.” Anyway once in sendai I confirm that I CAN make the last train back to Tokyo and this makes me so happy. I spend the layover in the middle of the station, drinking whiskey with missy elliot on the headphones, and just people watch in the station until it is time to leave. Damn that was fun!!!

Finally do laundry, and gleefully unpack my stuff and leave it all over the apartment.


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