Saturday morning I met Keith and Alex at Osaka Station; Matt joined us a few minutes later. While at DisneySea last weekend, a random decision was made (within a matter of moments) to visit the beach this weekend. So we did.
I was hoping we could visit Suma - a famous beach near Kobe, in Hyogo prefecture. I looked it up online, and discovered that it 'opens' on July 1st. In Canada, beaches don't really close (do they? I've never encountered a 'closed beach'); so I was a little confused. I asked a few questions of my coworkers, and came to the conclusion that 'closed' probably just meant that the food stands and shops in the area weren't open. But, unwilling to take the chance and not get to swim, we opted to visit Wakayama - the beach I went to previously. The train ride was quite long, but the four of us passed the time quickly with deep discussions about war, world affairs, and current issues. (No, I'm not kidding. We actually did.)
When we finally got to the beach (after I missed the stop and we had to go back one), I again felt so far from the city (probably because we were) and free of all troubles. Or at least most of them. It was overcast and rainy, and a bit chilly - but that certainly didn't stop us from swimming and hanging out in the water for quite a while. We were the only people in the water without surf boards and wetsuits. Needless to say, we got a few strange looks and the occasional side glance. We took a break for a beer and chatted to a woman for a while. She wanted to know where we were from, etc. She suggested a place to get food and seemed to want to take us there, but we were heading back into the water. In the water, Alex formed a brief friendship with a surfer 'dude'... he was watching us and creeping closer to our group. Alex waved, and the guy threw up a 'hang ten'. He was older than most of the surfers and had long hair and a long thin moustache. We laughed about it, then continued our conversation - with the occasional awkward laugh when he seemed to move closer.
After our second swim, we stopped for a snack before jumping on the train back to Osaka. Getting off in Namba, we met up with Rumiko - a new coop student from UVic. I was excited to meet her - although I enjoy all of my friends and spending time with them, the majority of them are male ... I definitely wouldn't trade any of my guy friends, but it's always nice to have another girl to hang out with!
We wandered around Namba for a bit in the light rain, and had some dinner - Okonomiyaki of course, for the benefit of the new coops. Then we spent the night out - Club Pure style. Two words to describe the night: fun & ridiculous. Next post!