March 31st. 2023
Ferry to Irago on the Atsumi Peninsula
Quiet night at Iidaka eki michi no eki. The limited toilet facilities are not an issue as very few people stay overnight in the vast parking area.
We have a ferry to catch, but plenty of time, so take a leisurely drive to Toba, through pleasant countryside ablaze with blossom and flowers.
From Toba, we take the ferry across to Irago, Aichi prefecture for 55 minutes. This is the Atsumi peninsula which is flat, arable land. Also warm I guess as there is a great deal of horticulture.
＊Ise-wan ferry ; 7,600 yen / car, 1,800 yen / adult
Once off the ferry, we take a short walk around Cape Irago. This is a paved walkway edged with large boulders, many inscribed with Waka poetry that none of the few people walking this path seem inclined to read. To be fair, some are the efforts of school students, but I doubt the passers-by notice that either. as well as poetry it offers sea views and sea birds.
At the right time of year, early October, this is a spot to witness the migration of Grey Faced Buzzard Eagles.
The car park area is much busier as there is a sandy beach of sorts, ‘Koijigahama’, and perhaps more importantly, shops and cafes.
Akabane Loko Park and Tahara Mekkun House michi no eki
From the cape we move to Akabane Loko Station michi no eki. This is adjacent to Akabane Loko Park a magnificent expanse of sandy beach, popular with surfers.
Before settling in for the night, we take a look at Tahara Mekkun House michi no eki. This city michi no eki has a restaurant open until 8pm and good facilities, so from a straight shachuhaku (sleep in car) point of view is the better option.
As we are idiots, we head back to the beach and park out along the sea front far from the michi no eki. This is surfer territory, so it has a toilet and a shower. The toilet as one would expect is primitive but functional. Unfortunately, it has no lights. However, we can take a long walk along the beach as the sun sets and go to sleep to the sound of the sea. Priorities.
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.