Day 3: Last day

My growling stomach woke me up at 6:30. After staying in the restaurant "Heavenly Smorgasboard of Seafood and Alcohol" (not technically its real name) until closing at 8 the night before, I went in search of snacks and the only place open for business was the ice cream vending machine across the way. The snack shortage had caught up with me early next morning.

I managed to stave off hunger with drip coffee bags I'd brought until 8, then went to the store across the street to raid its meager but serviceable bread selection.

I ate the bread and apologized to the ryokan manager for making a drunken, ice cream cone holding martryed voice phone call to her the night before about the door being locked (The door directly next to locked door had not been locked). Then I checked out and made my way back to the viewpoint I'd passed by yesterday, which gave me a chance to reunite with the hippie chickens, which actually were everywhere. I'd thought that rooster had a small harem but it was actually like a "the King and I" situation.

Anyway, trooped around the little peninsula, then continued north to the pretty grasses and sandy beaches of Tanesashi Kaigan. Come to think of it, I'd actually already been here now that I saw it in daylight: I'd had a white wine and a sea urchin rice bowl at the shop nearby and went to stick my feet in the sand here 4 years ago.

New this time around was the Tanesashi Kaigan Information Center, which was chock full of informational panels and brochures. There was a whole wall of wildflowers you could see in the area with their Japanese names. I wanted to stay longer, but I had my pack on and didn't want to watch energy moving around a building (Here's an idea: just take the pack off! Will do that next time) so after a cursory look entered the trail from Tanesashi campground.

The trail between Tanesashi Kaigan and Kabushima island is lovely: trees looming out of the fog, ginormous boulders topped with flowered vegetation, and a steady diet of ocean view. I think I missed "地獄穴” or "hole to hell, but I did find "bat hole," which according to the panel is because hole was said to have housed bats. Did I go in there to see what was there? No no nopity nope I did not. You are welcome to risk going into a hole when the sign gives no details as to what you can currently expect from hole. I am not doing this on a paid basis, so no hole entering. Please let me know what you find if you go in and make it out alive.

I also found "white rock," said to be white because cormorants poo on it. Maybe they were running out of things to use as landmarks. Lucky for "white rock" there's no crazy ass cool looking formation right night to it, because "white rock" would be totally out of luck.

I made it to Shirahama fishing port. It looked like there was a beach volleyball tournament going on at Shirahama Swimming Area just ahead, with food stalls. In fact, there was a stall just beyond those boats. I vaccillated between just continuing on and getting a bite to eat at the stall. Fortunately, the gal running the stall encouraged me multiple times to put down my pack and rest for a bit.

I started by ordering senbei soup, which is a well-known local dish. The gentlemen next to me struck up a conversation. Over an hour later, the three of us at the table had covered many topics. We'd looked with my binoculars at the ladies in the hut nearby opening sea urchins. I had eaten not only the senbei soup, but an entire fresh crab, what in retrospect was two sea snails, a small orange sea urchin, some pickles with a huge chunk of octopus, and god knows what else. I can't even remember. The sea urchin was unforgettable. It tasted like magic and the souls of unicorns. The entire thing cost 600 yen because some of these were freebies.

If you pass by, go to this stall. The other stalls were hot dogs and fried chicken and what have you, but you can get that anywhere. Go here.

You may be able to walk through Shirahama swimming area if a volleyball tournament isn't going on, but in any case get on the sand when you can and head north for about 2 kilometers, until the beach ends. By the way, this sand is described as "famous squeaky sand" but it didn't let out a peep when I was walking on it.

I walked up the path to the Ashigemaki observatory and soaked in the view while eating some of the moderately expensive but delicious ice cream.

OK, I'm sorry I don't remember this part. But this was part of the course, and I'm looking back at that thing from the correct path.

Mostly I was on this: the 1

Here is the confusing part: you need to get on the main road again, which is a little scary because of the cars, but at some point soon after that you should be able to go further down to the shore again, or at least to an unpaved road. I could not find this point, and for the most part continued on the main road (the 1) until Kabushima.

Right before Kabushima is the Hachinohe Marine Science Museum Maliento, which apparently also has a restaurant, because my friend at the stall earlier recommended the sashimi meal, aka "sashimi teishoku," maybe 1000 yen.

I tried to take selfie with seagull, but he drew the line at selfie and flew away

Beyond that is Kabushima. This was it. The island of seagulls I'd visited four years ago, plus the ending and starting point of the Michinoku trail. The brown peepy seagulls are the babies that have survived to teenagerhood.

It's a short walk south to Same station. Enjoy the children's paintings of seagulls, two of which are clearly less expressions of the joys of coastal life than of the deep-seated fear of seagulls, then cross the railroad tracks, hitch a right, and catch the next train to Hachinohe.

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