September, 3 rd Shiraiki
Rough cliffs and rock climbing. Mountains or ocean? As a rock climber, for sure, I love the mountains, but my heart belongs to the ocean. Deeply. When both comes together I’m freaking out for happiness. Climbing cliffs is my favorite and I’m always happy to go to our local spot at Himeji. I was looking forward this weekend’s trip for a long time and finally time had come. Together with Kazu, Bryan, Sachiko san and Sonoyama san we went to Fukui to climb at a spot at the Japanese sea. We met early on Saturday morning and arrived at Shiraiki at breakfast time. The approach was rather easy, we climbed up an old hiking path and soon climbed down the cliffs directly next to the sea. We had to pass bulky rocks to find the hidden spot. We had to squeeze through a narrow corridor where our heavy loaded backpacks got stuck. Suddenly we were standing in colloseum like stadium made by rough tall cliffs. The scenery was amazing and dramatic. I didn’t know where to fix my eyes first. It was a sunny, warm day. Perfect conditons. Soon I stuck in the first and longest route. The rock was rough, sharp and due to the salty sea water sharp, but robust. My favorite type of rock! The walls were almost vertical and I couldn’t believe my luck. The area offered plenty of oppurtunities and rather less rock was bolted. We hopped over some rocks to a floating chunk of rock. The routes were easy, but incredible enjoyable. The view from the top was breathtaking. After lunch I took a nap in this wonderful scenery and freshly recharged I climbed to towers, when suddenly a fisherman entered the bay by boat. I couldn’t understand properly, but he was very upset about our car and threatened us to call the police (our car was parked at super countryside beach next to other cars of sports fishers). Anyway, we had to head out quickly. I had to clean up the last route and soon we followed the others. Our car was still there, without any police. The timing wasn’t too bad, since it was already late afternoon and we had a lot of nice climbs done already. Our Accomodation was just five minutes away. It was the very first time for me to stay at a Ryokan (traditional Japanese guest house) and I was keen to experience. I was sharing a big traditional tatami room with Bryan and Kazu and after some tea and a bath it was already time for dinner and our stomachs were ready for a while. The greatest thing about Ryokan’s is to wear a Yukata (kimono like robe) at all time during the stay. Downstairs the stuff prepared for us a georgeous dinner with super fresh local sea food. It was amazing. A big plate of Zashimi (different kind of raw fish), fresh fish we had to grill on the little table BBQ and plenty of other delicacies. I’m not a big fan of fish, but this dinner was amazing. I also tried sea snail and St. James shell for the first time (I didn’t like the sea snail, which made Kazu very happy to get mine). Afterwards they served a small soup with tiny shells, which was the most delicious soup I ever had. After the dessert our bellys were round and our faced warm and red. Heavy and satisfied we climbed upstairs to our rooms, where a the futons were already prepared. I was so lucky that even sleeping is performed in Yukatan and I didn’t need to change. I fell asleep within seconds and woke up by Kazu’s voice. It was one minute before 7 am and we had to go for breakfast. I literally jumped from the futon into my slippers following the others. I was still half asleep. A nicely prepared traditional Japanese breakfast was awaiting us. For sure including some fish, rice miso soup and green tea. I was still rather asleep, so I asked for coffee and had it in combination with my breakfast, to the amusement of the stuff. I really enjoyed staying still wearing the Yukata. We decided to go toa spot in Kyoto for climbing today, since some locals told us the climbing spot we were yesterday might be officially closed due to corona. Yesterday we were the only ones there. Soon we were on the way to Kyoto. It was the first time at this spot for me and even though it was very small the routes and area was prepared with a lots of love and the atmosphere was super nice. Also route setting was very fine and I got the challenges I was looking for. We arrived back in Osaka in the evening and it was one of the best weekends of the year.