Being a little bit lost in Masuda

Call me old fashioned, but smart phones and a GPS are not yet my thing when wandering around new places. With a good sense of direction as well as being confident at knowing which way is north, I am never that concerned about being ‘a little bit lost’ in Japan.

I do go a bit hard on myself for not reading the map properly, mixing up east and west, or missing that apparently well signposted turn (obscure to the visitor, but obvious to the local).

But it can add to the excitement. Like some TV survival game, just how long can I hold out before seeking help for my partial lostness?

I got oddly nearly lost this June in Masuda, on the west side of Shimane Prefecture. With a few hours to kill before my next train, I hired a bike from the local Information Centre. Always a good thing. Take in a few of the local sites instead of sitting on a station platform.

Map in hand I headed off to make my way the 2 kilometres to the Sea of Japan. I could smell the sea. I had a vision of resting at the beach, staring out across the blue expanse.

After about 45 minutes of riding I still could not find the sea! How hard is it? It stretches over to China and Russia! After the tenth time of consulting the map, even orienting it to the main road signs – I realised the map was ‘schematic’ only, so taking the second turn left about 50 metres from the Information Centre, actually meant take the turn left one kilometre up the road.

Then logic brain kicked in. Ride along the riverside paths – the sea must be reached some time. Was this part of the river tidal? Was the tide coming in or out? More pondering.

By the time I got to the seaside, about an 80 minutes had passed. It was already time to ride back again to meet the train. The only thing I got to do at the beach was to laugh at myself!

The return trip zipped by with the electric assist bike. Move over folks. Get out of my way. Overtaking walkers, joggers, riders and old women in those tiny vans that squeeze through barriers to use the river levee banks as short cuts.

Calmly return the bike. How was your ride, sir? I had a wonderful time at the sea thank you very much.


About TonyJ2

I live in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. I started writing stories about my trips to Japan largely to be able to print them out for my Mum to read. Now it has got a bit out of control. After nine trips, 100+ posts and another 200 in rough draft, my irregular postings on Having a Ball in Japan will go on for a few years yet. Having a Ball in Japan is not just a bunch of travel photos, and picks up my interests in the history and culture of Japan, emergency services and disaster management, as well as hours travelling by railways big, small and tiny. Awareness to Action takes the emergency services and disaster management theme deeper into experience and resilience. Effectively Awareness to Action is my professional blog. My partner and I have been lucky enough to do a fair bit of travel both in Australia and overseas. Escaping the Nest chronicles our times in United States, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and soon to be Ireland. Tony
This entry was posted in Bike rides, Small Towns and Villages, Trains and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Being a little bit lost in Masuda

  1. Mustang.Koji says:

    Bike…like one with pedals or a scooter type bike? And surely, it was humid, yes? 🙂


Comments are closed.