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Last Sunday, we packed our sunscreen, swimming costumes, plenty of food and headed for Omimaiko Beach at Lake Biwa (The largest lake in Japan).

Only an hour away from Kyoto Station, Omimaiko Beach was the perfect Sunday day out.

Unfortunately for us, it was overcast all day but still remained a humid 28 degrees. The beach, although without soft white sand, was clean and relatively quiet if you compare it to the current shores of Bournemouth. The water was cold but not enough to put us off.

As we put down our towels and marked our territory at around 1pm we noticed how many people had jet-skis and speedboats. Of course we were jealous and watched on as they made an inexcusable amount of noise with their engines, clearly showing off. (To whom? I do not know).

Once we managed to get all 8 of us in the water, we played a harmless game of catch as we had no other source of entertainment and were far too scared to actually swim due to the heavy population of fish that swam around us.

I noticed that a bright yellow speed boat and its occupants had been predatorily perusing the shoreline, up and down, for its prey. They finally slowed and approached us. For reasons I do not understand, they were somehow impressed and shocked that some young Japanese people were mingling with some Gaijin (a sometimes derogatory term for foreigner). They asked my Japanese friends to raise their hands and were again surprised by the equal split. After a little chit chat the Captain of this tiny yellow speed boat asked if we would like a ride.

Of course we said yes! However, I do remember at one point looking at Tash and I could see that we were both thinking, “Are we coming back?”. Who am I kidding… It’s Japan, we were safer there than we could have been anywhere else. Although their gesture seemed harmless, one has to consider their motives… Did they want the bragging rights, was there an ulterior motive, or did they just want to extend a hand of kindness? Who knows…

This speed boat, however, had to be one of the fastest things I’ve ever been on and the ride was absolutely exhilarating, even if it did last less than 5 minutes. After disembarkation I was thrilled. I felt like I was in the scene of a movie – nothing like that happens in real-life!

After that we continued to relax on the shoreline. After a fully rejuvenating day we headed back to Kyoto station and tried the local English Pub. I order the Fish & Chips and, although it wasn’t the real thing, was pleasantly surprised and satisfied.

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The view from our territory.
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The Local Train Station.
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Our exhilarating ride.

On another note, for those of you who do not know, I am about to climb Mt Fuji on the 10th July, which is coming up so fast, in aid of Epilepsy Society. It would mean so much to me and Liv if you could donate just a little change to this worthy cause. If you would like some more information you can look at my previous blogpost here.

Thats all for now.

Ix

A Day at Lake Biwa

Ilsa Jones


2nd Year BA Film & English Student. Studying at Doshisha University, Kyotonabe Campus, Japan.


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