Today we decided to stay off the Rishiri Island cycle road. As nice and traffic-free it is, it bypasses many of the quaint Japanese fishing villages along the coast at the south end of the island.
The volcanic coast was raw…
and mostly untouched. The roads were smooth; I am thinking this part of Japan would be perfect for a skateboard trip. No traffic, smooth roads, great scenery…
The real highlight of the day was arriving in the sleepy little village of Kutsugata. The campground, costing only 300yen (US$3) a night for one tent site, was situated right next to a lighthouse on a point just out of the village. It easily rates as one of my most idyllic and picturesque campsites I’ve ever camped in.
It was super windy however, making outdoor cooking a task we happily eschewed in favor of some tempura at a local restaurant.
As the sun set into the west, we noticed the town’s preparations for the annual Obon festival. This festival happens every August all over Japan. The basic idea is that spirits of ancestors return to their ancestral home, where the still-living entertain them with music and dance. To our delight, we found out the festival would be happening tonight! To our dismay, we later found out it had been cancelled due to high winds.
We settled on making our own festival lights instead.