We had been wanting to go to the beach since the beginning of the semester and it was FINALLY happening! With Golden Week at the start of May we had almost a whole week off to run amok in Japan (although I spent most of it recovering from all the homework we had!). As I said, discussions of going to the beach had been going on for a while about where would be suitable to go to as a large group and it was finally decided that going to the actually sea side would be expensive and near impossible considering the nearest beach by the sea we could get to would likely involve the need to stay overnight, and because the weather was getting good all the cheap places were booked out. So where did we go if not the sea? Only the largest lake in Japan! Lake Biwa!
I’d been to Lake Biwa before in the winter with Hannah when we were coming back from Tokyo, but this was different. It was in a different place with different people and warmer weather instead of snow, rain and winds.
So we all got up very early, swimming gear ready and met up at Hirakata station and preceded to take the almost 2hour train ride up through Kyoto and onto a rickety countryside train out to the middle of no where. It was awesome! Who doesn’t love a huge gaggle of gaijin on a train? Well probably the Japanese, but there was almost no one on the country side train.
When we had begun to get into the mountains we had arrived. The beach itself was a gritty sandy beach on the shore of the lake with pine trees lining the edge. There were quite a few other people there, mostly with barbeques. The sun was shining, but it was still early May so it was still really cold. Lily dipped her feet in but soon found it to be way too cold! Chris was the first stupid one to try jumping in for a swim, followed by more of the guys who all quickly jumped back out again. No surprises non of the Japanese locals were taking a dip.
We mostly hung around, chatting and lying down. Wes tried to find a toilet but instead found a Golgothan lurking in the depths of some shack O_O A while later and people began to get hungry…no one had been smart enough to bring much food so a large group gathered together to go find the nearest konbini, which are everywhere, how hard could it be? HA! We were in the countryside remember, and the nearest one was at least over a mile away. It took them a while to get back in the mean time leaving me, Wes, Taylia and Lily to our own devices. Taylia went exploring and I eventually went with her to look at the mountains and the lake, when we got back Wes and Lily had made friends with the drunken Japanese guys at the BBQ next to us. They were nice but a bit pushy with the alcohol. What was really funny was one of the girls began to flirt with Wes until her friend pointed me out and she stepped right back XD Strange thing is Wes and I hadn’t been doing anything couply! Japanese women have this scary sixth sense when it comes to couples O_O
The others eventually came back and we were able to excuse ourselves from the drunken badminton and hung out more with the others. Many hours of scuffles, teasing, joking, a poor attempt at building a sandcastle (Alex) and the rest of us jumping on it (mostly Me) and it was time to go. So walking back we picked blossoms and put them in our hair, talked about random stuff and got the train home. Wes and I played eye spy on the last train before almost falling asleep. A few of us then decided a trip to our favourite restaurant Kappa Zushi was in order, so me, Wes, Gabe, my RA, Nadezhda, Chris, and Alex went and filled ourselves of nommy nommy sushi before heading home. Twas a good day ^-^