This is the third day of rain but I think it is going to let up a little today. Luckily, we had a few hours of reprieve while we visited Shipwreck beach on Saturday. I wanted to gather more seaglass for art and presents. The Davises had never been out to the beach so we packed a picnic lunch and some buckets for glass and headed out. It was a good haul. I decided to collect crab shells (lots of dead crabs) and more rocks this time. I now have a huge jar of sea glass...yes mom, some of it is gonna make it your way. So shipwreck beach doesn't have any shipwrecks and it isn't even on the Pacific. It's on the edge of Mutsu Bay - that big bay at the top of Honshu island. According to my 30 year old guide book to nothern Japan (literally the only resource in the library that comes close to mentioning Misawa) The bay is best know for it's sea scallop farming which completely turned around the economy of the region. The area is also know for it's wintering of Siberian Swans. Apparently, the winter is mild and they like it better than Siberia. In late November they migrate down in a huge noisy flock. There is a bird viewing sanctuary near the beach so I smell another trip idea a brewing.
We stopped at a famous onsen on the way back from the beach. It had a cute little sign and was called Rocca Pocca. We didn't actually get in the hot spring waters, we still don't know the procedures. After we had locked our shoes away, I went to talk with the guy at the desk. He didn't speak English and I was a little miss understood by the lady that did so we didn't end up staying. So many excuse mes later we got our shoes back on and vowed to try it another trip. It is supposed to be the deepest onsen in Japan - according to the guide book. There was some shopping and food inside the onsen. As we were done putting on our shoes the lady confirmed my suspicion that it was free to walk around and shop but that we needed to pay to enter the hot springs. I also asked her about what looked like a brewery on the other end of the parking lot. It turned out to be a Shochu distillery which also had a tour that was kind of expensive. Shochu is like a miracle Korean alcohol that it nearly tasteless and messes you up hard core. Needless to say it's a party necessity out here and one of those products that would make a fortune in the states that isn't sold there for some reason. People buy huge cases of it and try to PCS with it. The next time we go out to the beach and feeling more adventurous we are going to have to take the tour and dip in the onsen.
Another rather interesting even that was spread out through out the weekend was a bunch of earthquakes. We had 9 on Saturday by the count on the internet. I only really felt three of them. One in particular hit at 4am Saturday morning. I was sleeping on the couch because I was having a hard time sleeping that night. It literally felt like Ian was shaking the couch to get me to wake up. It took me a bit to open my eyes to see that the whole house was shaking and all the furniture was moving around. It was a pretty violent shake that lasted a good 5 minutes. The internet said that it was a 7 something. It hit and then subsided for like two minutes and then a second earthquake hit, not nearly as powerful as the first. I didn't want to get off the couch because I wasn't sure that I would be able to stand. Ian came out of the bedroom after the second quake. We decided to just go back to bed since there were no sirens. We had gotten home from a party earlier that evening. The cap from the grenadine bottle wasn't screwed on right. It must have been knocked over during the quake. When I woke up the next morning to do dog chores I thought some one had died because it looked just like a pool of blood. That's how I spend the first hour of my morning scrubbing grenadine out of the carpet.
Here's the link to the rest of the pictures of furniture and beach fun. New Furniture, the Beach, and Earthquakes