So after a 6-week summer break, and a string of 3-day weekends, the board of education has seen fit not to have Julian nor I work next week. So we'll have 11 days straight off. It'd be nice if we'd actually get a decent paycheck before they do this, but I'll survive. I can't complain much if they're gonna pay me anyway.
We're looking at heading down to Hachijojima, the 7th and final in a string of volcanic islands that are directly south of Sagami Bay where I live. I used to be able to see the closest and biggest one, Ooshima, from my apartment on the 12th floor downtown, but only on clear days. Hachijojima will be about 11 hours by overnight ferry from Tokyo. We'll stay a couple of nights in a minshuku, a cheap Japanese inn. The inn will probably be an experience, considering they don't get many foreigners out there. I hear tell there's an Aussie who moved out there recently and opened up a bar, but I'll believe it when I see it. I can tell you how it'll go: the innkeeper will only speak a dialect of Japanese we can't understand, I'll smack my head more than a few times on ridiculously low doorframes, and they'll serve us pan-fried whole fish with fermented soy beans and some sort of seaweed paste for breakfast.
All in all, I'm quite looking forward to it. Julian says the island is famous for a type of flying fish that is fermented in soy beans for months on end and comes out so foul-smelling that even mainland Japanese gag at the stench. Can't wait to try it!