Chapter 16:

Kanto: Chapter 12

The Kimochi Warui Diary

To be completely honest… I wasn’t against the idea of us doing our own things. But there were several issues:Bookmark here

· He didn’t have a SIM card like I did. It could be troublesome to get back in touch with me, let alone to look up train schedules.Bookmark here

· Our hotels were spaced out in a way to bring us gradually more west. At some point, he’d have to take a massive train ride to catch up to me.Bookmark here

· I couldn’t find any solid information on Tashirojima, aside from a website that looked several years old. Bookmark here

· The only resource covering the logistics of Tashirojima claimed a ferry went to the island only twice per day—missing it meant staying overnight on the island.Bookmark here

After laying out the facts, Jotaro didn’t look happy. But I didn’t sense any of his menacing aura, either.Bookmark here

“Fine,” he said.Bookmark here

Crisis averted. Bookmark here

“Don’t worry about it,” I said. “You’re not going to regret our trip. I’ve been told by some of the best sources online that our next stop, Tochigi, is a must-see.”Bookmark here

“Hm.”Bookmark here

“Trust me, it’s gonna be great.”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

After a brief train ride, we exited the station and ventured into Tochigi. Bookmark here

The first thing we noticed was the old architecture. The buildings here were noticeably older than those in Tokyo, and even in Mito.Bookmark here

Backpacking deeper into the suburbs brought us to an old home that once housed ancient samurai. For a small fee, we were allowed to tour the home and get up-close and personal with ancient artifacts once used by the samurai.Bookmark here

Then—to our surprise—that same ticket allowed us to go down the street to visit a modern-era Japanese mansion. Bookmark here

A grand koi pond and massive cherry tree out front created a snapshot of an earlier time. The mansion, itself, was still being lived in by a husband and wife. After taking our tickets, they went about their chores as if we weren’t even there—truly, a living relic!Bookmark here

We then made our way back around and, before we knew it, well… Bookmark here

We were back at the station. Only two hours had passed.Bookmark here

A wind blew past. As it did, I felt the space expanding all around us. It was incredibly quiet.Bookmark here

Standing there in the middle of Tochigi, I had a thought:Bookmark here

This place is really freakin’ dull!!Bookmark here

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