Friday, September 24, 2010

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 22

ACHI-KOCHI by Rey Ian Corpuz

My First Beach Experience in Japan

After 3 long years, it was my first time to plunge into Japan’s beach. Along with my Japanese friend, Yuichi, and his colleague, we rented a car and travelled about 3 hours from southern Saitama until Chiba. Our destination was Oamishirasato Town (大網白里町), which is a small beach coast area in the Pacific coast of Chiba Prefecture’s Sanbu District. We went as early as nine in the morning as we figured out that the traffic jam in the expressway will be massive by lunchtime. I brought the essentials: my camera, tanning lotion, sunblock, and more bathing paraphernalia, of course. Again it was a test for my rusted Japanese skills to talk to my friend’s colleague. Nevertheless, we understood each other. Along the way, we got stuck in a 30-minute traffic jam near Ginza interchange. All of us felt tired, hungry and sweaty as the heat of the sun baked everything that was stuck in the expressway. After another 30 minutes of exchanging thoughts about the beach and stuff, we finally passed and reached our first stop over at Noro (野呂). After a quick toilet and snack break, we continued our road trip. I noticed that all roads going to this place were being tolled. I even told my friend that this is a “dorobo road” (thief road) since we almost pay in every road that we passed. Even reaching the main Shirasato exit road was another toll fee. Whew…. Welcome to Japan…

Here we are, seeing the majestic landscape of the Pacific coast of the beach. Splendid and as pic- turesque like the beaches in my hometown Davao City, this part of Japan really reminds me of two things. Firstly, the landscape and scenery resembles of my hometown and secondly, that the people occupying in the area is a scene from the 90’s TV series Baywatch. The coastline is filled with temporary structures and people who take a shade under umbrellas. The sand was scorching and there are no free amenities. Parking is paid. Shower in each restaurant is paid at 1,000 yen in an “abi-houdai” or shower all you can manner and of course dining fee is separate as well as the rent for umbrellas, surf boards, folding beds, and tubes. Before we took a plunge, we ate first. Food was too expensive. I ordered “aji teishoku” or grilled horse mackerel with rice and miso soup. The size of the fish was too small. And not really filling. Beer was even sold at 500 yen for each small sized cup. Everything was expensive. Yet we did not mind. After all, it was an escape from the hustle-and-bustle streets of Tokyo, especially for my two Japanese friends. Oh well, what did I enjoy a lot? Guess what? Staring women in their cute and fashionable bikinis. Can’t help but keep on asking myself, “Why do Japanese women wear full make-up even when plunging into the beach?” For one thing, Japan’s summer temperature is really frying and to protect their skin from UV rays of the sun, they wear make-up filled with UV sunblock/sunscreen, and of course, to make them appear more beautiful and colorful. Indeed. The coastline is not white sand as this type of coastline is rare or almost non-existent in the northern coastline of this region. The water at first was a bit cold, but then after a few minutes of adapting to the water, we managed to go farther. There are plenty of lifeguards. Just like Baywatch, they actually have at least one lifeguard every several meters standing along side with the beach goers. Lifeguards blow their whistle if someone steps beyond the boundaries which are set. Any person going beyond these pre-determined danger lines are being pulled back by the lifeguards. There were no women lifeguards in red swimsuits like Baywatch. Weeehhh.. All of them were muscle men. Two of them are actually Caucasians. I bet they were ALTs who look for part time jobs. Hehehe… Anyway, since this coast is on the Pacific side, the waves are extremely high and erratic. Erratic as several waves would be as low as 5 feet to as high as 8 feet in height. People are always swept in the coastline as the waves pound the people in the coastlines. The surface of the beach is not of the same level. Some parts of the coastline are prohibited entry since there are deep-like trenches along the way. Yuichi told me that the waters of Japan’s coastline are a bit dirty. I told them that I am okay with it. My hometown is in the coastline after all. So why worry? But after noticing the waters, it was a bit murky. There were few to no shells to be found near the coast. Though comparing our coastlines in the Philippines, it is still pretty clean after all. You don’t see much that of litter and garbage materials from fallen branches of talisay trees, banana branches and even seaweeds. The coastline was swarmed with people who sunbathed. Oozing sexy bodies in bikinis, which I can’t help but stare, are common as the sand. There were other people who did other aqua sports like parasailing and jet skiing. Life that was fast, fun and expensive. Nevertheless, this was a typical summer vacation in Japan. After a warm shower, we hit the road and went home. After arriving around 8PM in Nerima, we went to an Izakaya bar and dozed of the night after our tiring beach and road adventure.


by Madam Marivic

RAT Maganda ang takbo ng career this month. Kailangan lamang ng focus sa trabaho at kung ikaw ay nasa business, ibukas ang iyong isip sa mga good opportunities na darating. In October, you will gain respect from other people lalo na doon sa mga nakakakita kung paano ka magtrabaho. Huwag kalilimutan na kung may nangangailangan, huwag ipagkait ang tulong na kayang ibigay. "The more you give, the more you get back".

OX Mag-ingat sa mga taong nasa paligid. There is a possibility na may isang kaibigan na maninira sayo. Iwasan ang manghiram ng pera lalo na sa kaibigan. Maraming pagsubok ang darating sayo ngunit malalampasan mo ito if you remain strong. In October, may mga taong tutulong sayo at mag-aalok ng tulong. Say "yes" ng may mababang loob. Invite your friends and allies to enhance your luck.

TIGER Mag-ingat sa isang kaibigan na pinagkakatiwalaan mo. There is betrayal in your chart this month. Umiwas sa tsismis at mga taong magdadala ng problema at gulo sayo. Try to ignore all those negative things. In October, may unexpected good fortune na naghihintay sa yo, magtiwala sa iyong kakayahan at nasa iyo ngayon ang heavens luck and mentor luck.

RABBIT Very smooth ang trabaho this month. Ingatan lamang ang iyong health lalo na doon sa mga may long working hours. Madali kang mapagod dahil mababa ang energy level mo at nasa iyo ang illness star. In October, victory star will visit you this month. Maganda ang pasok ng work. Magkaroon lamang ng konting effort sa mga gustong gawin at iwasan ang ma-stress. Just enjoy the success.

DRAGON Wealth and income is very good this month. Iwasan lamang ang mga risky sports or physical activities na magdadala sayo ng injury sa limbs. Mahaharap ka din sa mga legal problems. You need to be calm and cool. If you become hot tempered, you will only find yourself your own worst enemy. In October, iwasan ang masyadong paggastos. May mga unexpected expenses na darating. Watch your health because you are prone to illness.

SNAKE Awesome good fortune! You will enjoy windfall luck ngunit pag-ingatan ang iyong health. Legal problems and troubles will arise. Just go with the flow at iwasan ang mag-protesta. Just maintain your temper to avoid enemies. Wear plenty of red and gold! In October, money luck rolls out faster ng di mo namamalayan. This will make you stressful because you will be broke. Don’t overspend kung kinakailangan. Extra careful sa health mo.

HORSE This is one of your luckiest months for this year. You will
enjoy the excellent wealth and income luck. Maraming mga magandang bagay naka line-up na mangyayari sa yo. Sa ganitong pagkakataon, you need to be generous and get involved yourself to some charity works. In October, money luck continues to be good. Mag-ingat lamang dahil hindi maiiwasan na may maiinggit sayo lalo na sa trabaho.

SHEEP Ang mga pinagdadaan na mga obstacles lalo na sa trabaho will easily be solved and your luck will slowly improve. May small luck na darating but it depends how you worked hard for it. You need to focus to have a real success. In October, do not overspend at huwag madaling madala sa mga nakikita ng mata. Iwasan ang sugal at huwag basta madadala sa mga surprises. Your life may get more complicated.

MONKEY You will become busy this month. Try to organize your
schedules. To avoid being exhausted, maglaan ng oras para sa
preparation kung ano ang gagawin. Refresh your mind para maiwasan ang careless mistakes sa trabaho. In October, may mga pagkakagastusan and you will feel lack of money. May darating na problema but avoid losing your temper hindi makakabuti sa health mo.

ROOSTER Powerful and mentor luck is with you right now. Para sa mga dedicated and focus sa work, may possibility to have a promotion luck. Keep yourself busy and put more efforts para more success will come. In October, this is not a good month to take any risks at hindi ka dapat maaaring magkamali sa mga decisions na gagawin mo.

DOG This is not a good month for you. Ipagpaliban muna ang mga important activities. Don’t take any risks. Sundin ang iyong instinct, kung hindi mo feel, don’t go for it otherwise this will bring you in troubles. In October, you may find yourself improving pagdating sa work at career. There is also money luck. Maganda rin ang pasok ng love and romance sa iyo.

BOAR Ang maliit na bagay kapag pinagtalunan ay lalaki. Illness and misfortune will occur in any kinds of ways. Kaya mag-ingat and lie-low ka muna. In October, there are some opportunities that will open because career luck is good this month. Sa mga dalaga at binata, this is the good time to propose to the person you love or to bring your relationship to the next level.

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