After leaving Shirahama, we drove for about an hour around the coast and took a short break in Kushimoto. There are some famous rocks in the sea, which we got out to have a look at. It’s amazing how calm everything seems all of a sudden. I wouldn’t say we forgot about what had happened at Taro’s family home, but it was a brief respite. It’s warming up, as spring coking into bloom and Alex managed to find some shorts and a t-shirt at the home, which is a lot more comfortable, even if it leaves him somewhat exposed and doesn’t offer much in the way of protection. 39712_1570259457856_5110902_n

I was surprised that even Risa and Ayako seemed to be in slightly better spirits. Risa wanted to climb the massive rocks jutting out of the sea, but Ayako wouldn’t let her. Instead the jumped from stone to stone and actually laughed a little when Ayako missed a rock and one of her feet landed in the sea. I had the feeling that Ayako was watching her daughter closely for signs of emotion. In the car, there had been complete silence, so it was really refreshing to see the hint of a spark behind her eyes when Risa started laughing at her.

SNow MobileAs we were leaving, I noticed a new message from the people up at the ski resort in Nagano. They seem to be fairing a lot better than us. They have been using snow mobiles to get around, but it does seem that fuel is starting to get low. They are concerned they might have to get away to the real world and forage for more food and petrol sometime in the near future. Having said that, they do seem safe and relatively free to live their lives up in the mountain. Water security has been fine for them, as they have been melting snow and drinking it. For the most part, they have been relying on rations from the resorts and hotels up in the ski village, but they have also been able to kill some wildlife, which has given them some fresh meat. Apparently, their crowning achievement so far has been bear that wandered into the camp. After the initial shock, they managed to get enough people together to kill the bear with only a few minor scratches suffered. Although they lack fruit and vegetables, they do seem to be getting a reasonably protein rich diet. It sounds like a lot more fun than what we are going through.

Our own diet basically consists of vegetables we can find in gardens now that the rations from the SDF have run out, some fish which we’ve caught ourselves and dried snacks. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not bitter about how well things are going for them. I’m happy for what we have, and I am fully aware that there are plenty of people who have it worse of than us. With so much death around us at the moment, it’s amazing that we are still alive and in good health. On top of that, if all goes well, connecting up with the SDF should improve our situation considerably.

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