Day 22, September 2016,
From Betsukai-cho we travel on to Shunkunitai. After parking in a nondescript car park, we find a nature centre hidden in the trees. It’s a tourist spot, but they don’t seem encourage casual visitors.
At the nature centre, which has a view out over the salt marshland, we get directions on how to get to the place clearly visible below us. This clear, we retrace our steps, a little, and set out along the inevitable wooden walkway over the marsh. We have a large expanse of open water on our left and, across the sea of reeds and sandy scrub, to our right the sea itself. There are masses of ducks and herons but no Sea Eagles or other spectacular sighting but a very pleasant and interesting walk. Unfortunately, we cannot go more than a couple of kilometers as the walkway had been severely damaged a couple of years earlier by an earthquake.
Cape Nosappu 納沙布岬
From the salt-marshes we continue on our way and arrive at Cape Nosappu. From here one can clearly see the Northern Islands. These islands were Japanese territory, but were occupied by the Soviet Union in the dying days of WW2. This is a major issue for the right of Japanese politics and the cape is awash with nationalist propaganda. All this makes for an uncomfortable visit if one is less than enthusiastic towards the extremes of Japanese nationalism. The Japanese probably have a strong case in this territorial dispute but the portrayal of Japan as a victim of WW2 is harder to sympathize with.
From Cape Nosappu, which we leave far from reluctantly, we continue along the coast in search of other spectacular capes. These prove very hard to locate and we abandon the search.
Cape Kiritappu 霧多布岬
By the evening, we have found a free, clifftop campsite at Cape Kiritappu with a wonderful view of the sea. We are very lucky to finish cooking before the threatening rain finally arrives, but are forced to eat our chicken in tomato in the car.
We have been using a pressure cooker. We thought this would be an economical and quick method of preparing a variety of dishes. This is true, if you are at home where the indoor temperature is pretty much constant. Outside, with the wind cooling things down unpredictably, the timing of pressure cooking becomes more hit and miss. I am not sure of the science behind this, but that is what I surmised when the potatoes were still a little on the hard side.
The rain, obligingly, pauses for the washing up but returns in earnest during the night.
＊Kiritappu Cape campground free
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.