Instant ninth. Matsuyama. We got lost again. The map says one thing, the location of the area is completely different. Japanese in the performance, but trying to help: "Go straight, 15−20 minutes ..." With all the bags? Can not be!
Appears beautiful Japanese woman 35 years old. He looks anxiously at the map, then at the bags, again at the map. “Yes, only on foot. But I have a car. You wait five minutes here. I am taking you to the hotel. ” We look at each other - an unusual offer. We agree. On the way, we find out that she is a civil servant who loves to travel. Here is our hotel. Perhaps even further than expected. A polite farewell. All with great dignity, as it should be in the Japanese world.
Instant tenth. Russian cemetery in Matsuyama. For more than a hundred years, these 98 graves of captured Russian soldiers and sailors who died of wounds and diseases during the Russo-Japanese War have been here. The gravestones face north, toward Russia. Each tomb is well-groomed, there are always fresh flowers. Who here contains everything in exemplary order and honors the memory of the dead? Society for the Protection of the Russian cemetery, which includes residents of the city, mostly young people.
Instant eleventh. Deer Hundreds of perfectly tame deer in Nara Park. It is indescribable: warm backs, wet noses and huge eyelashes. The little ones are cautious, the young ones are curious, the leaders are sedate, but sometimes impudent in an effort to get a salty cookie to the family of tourists. The park is huge, but they are at every turn. They live their lives walking around among people.
Instant the twelfth. A huge line in the Todaiji temple - the largest wooden structure in the world. A queue of distinguished Japanese and their families leads to one of the giant wooden columns of the temple. At the bottom of the column - a small hole. There is a belief that a person who is able to get through it, all sins are forgiven. The queue does not move because a person is stuck in the hole. More than well-fed, not quite sober foreigner, whose dimensions clearly do not correspond to the hole. That's why he's stuck. Friends try to help, they pull in one way or the other. No Curious reaction of the Japanese. They are not annoyed or offended by the presence of a stranded foreigner who, most likely, has nothing to do with Buddhism. Patiently waiting with pleasant faces ... Well, finally, the poor fellow recovered. The Japanese applaud and rejoice like children ...
Instant thirteenth. Okayama. A huge garden. Korakuen. Another one of the three most beautiful. The intricate forms of pines, flocks of multi-colored carps in ponds and amazingly elegant bridges over the streams. A heron wanders in a pond, dying off from time to time to snatch a fish ... One of twenty-five herons of this species left in the world ...
Instant fourteenth. Beppu Ryokan is a traditional Japanese hotel. Very clean, cozy and unusual. At the entrance to the hotel - the obligatory change of shoes, at the entrance to the toilet we change again, when going to the floors covered with mats, we completely part with the slippers (violation is punished, if not death, then eviction, for sure). Dilemma, where to sleep: on the second floor on a bed that is clearly not designed for European standards, or on the floor. Stele on the floor. Very comfortable. Relaxation comes instantly ...
Instant the fifteenth. Onsen Ryokan has its own onsen. Men and women separately. In the female part of anyone. Leaving all the clothes in a small room. In onsen take a shower, as it should be on etiquette visiting. The pool is small, lined with stones. Mineral water is hot, but within reasonable limits. Immersed ... Bliss, for it was worth going to the ends of the earth!
Instant sixteenth. The fact that Beppu has the greatest number of outlets of thermal waters on the surface of the Earth (more than 1300) did not bother me, but the presence of eight hells here ... This is how the Japanese word "jigoku" means hell. Each has its own attraction: a geyser, a lake with boiling water, steam jets erupting from the rock under pressure. In addition, caring Japanese people use the heat that thermal springs give to grow something exotic-tropical: hippos, crocodiles, Victoria's giant leaves - Japanese fantasy has no boundaries. And yet, the most amazing thing in these places is the bubbling water, puffs of steam from under the stones and the incredible colors of the lakes.
Instant seventeenth. The cable car to the highest point of Kyushu. The speed and degree of lift of the cable car are breathtaking. Beppu and the neighborhood - in full view. The last hundred meters on the way to the top you need to walk. Here are seven small shrines of the gods of happiness. Together they are called Sitifukudzin, although each god has his own name and individual characteristics. According to the Japanese, happiness can be of seven types: long life, material prosperity, honesty, life satisfaction, fame, wisdom, strength. All seven gods guarantee believers happiness, but each has its own. That Japanese pilgrimage to all temples Sitifukudzin, seeking to deserve happiness in all its versatility.
Instant eighteenth. The night train with the romantic name "Breaking Dawn" takes us to Tokyo, where our Japanese journeys end ... to let new things begin. We are on the second floor of a traditional sleeping car, which means small sleeping places, fenced off from each other by light walls. Vertical stairs lead to berths. In general, everything is too exotic to fall asleep easily. In addition, this is the last night under the Japanese sky, time to think and organize the impressions received here, of which there are so many that the task looks almost impossible!
But I hope for the help of the seven gods of happiness, the figures of which I carry with me as the best souvenir from Japan.