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August 28, 2005

One last Hayama Day

If you want to skip straight to the pictures, please access the photo album here and look at the album "Hayama 2"

We went to Hayama again on Saturday. As expected it was a really good time. I went down at noon, but that turned out to be two hours earlier than the next arrivals. It gave me time to get chairs and umbrellas, change into beach wear, and relax for a bit. See...doesn't this look nice:
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Yoko, Michika and John were the first to show up, and they were followed soon after by Tomoko, Nanako, Emma and Jeremy. Actually, the fog showed up first, which most people on the beach thought was strange, but having seen this in Hokkaido and Karuizawa for a better part of a week, I was not surprised at all. I had implied Kaz was the cause of this in Hokkaido, but fog at the beach when it is 30 degress is pretty solid evidence that I am the one at fault. Here is the evidence to prove it:
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Fortunately, Shiho and Chiaki arrived and the fog disappeared. (How did they do that?) Leigh, Carol, Kinuko and her new boyfriend also arrived to round out the group.

I will give you some of the highlights of our time on the beach:
* Shiho is always smiling - she is also a good swimmer (no pictures of that, sorry)
* Chiaki was also smiling a lot...she did not go swimming though, so I could get plenty of pictures of her
* Michika is always swimming - she grew up in Shonan, so this is all familiar to her
* John and I tried bodysurfing...that was fun!
* Tomoko and Nanako rented a air mattress and swam out to the floating markers. I tried to follow but the water was surprisingly cold once you got past the breaking waves.
* Leigh and Carol seemed to be talking a lot about work
* Emma and Jeremy read and napped
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We had to give all our beach kit back at 5pm, so we moved over to the Blue Moon for the evening's entertainment. We managed to get a table and 14 chairs, so that worked out OK. Here is a photo of the girls checking out the fancy bracelets they gave us for paying our cover charge. And again, we had a quality table. This is the sunset from our table...I am posting the best picture, taken by Yoko with her cell phone. Isn't this a great shot? She is a genius!
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Having our evening location sorted, a few of us walked down the beach. I love that. Sure enough, we ran into a group of people burying one of their friends (there is a picture in the album). This time it was sand (last month it was seaweed). If anyone can tell me why they do this, I would like to know!

We also were chastised by one of the police officers who told us not to take any pictures of him or the walls/trees of the Imperial summer home. He didn't confiscate any of our cameras, so maybe he was not too serious about it. Or maybe he was lazy.

Back at the Blue Moon, the music act was marginal, but the drinks were flowing more freely, and that is what was important. They did not do so well with the food, but that seemed less important as the night went on. This should give you a better idea.
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We saved the real excitement for the end. The bar closed at 1045pm, presumably leaving plenty of time to catch the last train at 1130pm. That is important...a taxi ride back to Tokyo would be hundreds of dollars (ten thousands of yen). Unfortunately, when we got to the raod, it took 5-10 minutes just to get the taxi company on the phone. And when we did, all they could promise is that they would do their best. Eventually, one taxi showed up, but we needed two...so half us remained on the road by the beach. I kept thinking "ok, as long as it comes in the next five minutes, we will be OK". When the five minutes was up, I would think "ok...if it comes in the next two minutes.." and so on.

Anyway, with 15 minutes before the last train, the rest of us were able to get a taxi. And we made it to the station with a minute to spare...whew! On the left is Yoko on the train...she must be relieved that she was not stranded with me in Hayama! That's the rest of us on the right. I kept joking around about sleeping on the beach, but it seemed less funny the closer it got to 1130pm. Anyway - all is well that ends well. And we another great day at the beach.
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Posted by Kirk on August 28, 2005 09:50 PM

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