I started day two of my trip on a train from Tsurumi, heading toward Yokohama station. I intended to get off once at Yokohama and then use random numbers to determine which train to get on. (You can read about day one of the trip in the previous blog post.)


But I slept right past Yokohama. I’d walked all night to get there, so I must have been sleepy.


The train terminated at Kanazawa-Bunko, where I woke up. I figured falling asleep had decided my direction for me in a sufficiently random fashion, so I got on a train across the platform going even farther in that direction.


The last stop was Uraga. It was about 6 or 6:30 in the morning. Just outside the ticket wicket at the station, there was a poster advertising an exhibit at the Yokosuka Museum of Art. The poster showed which bus line to take and where to get off.


I walked out of the station and right there, there was the bus in question, just about to leave. Synchronicity.


I didn’t know when the museum would open, but it certainly wasn’t going to be open at 6:30 a.m. The bus let me off at a place called Kannonzaki, and a quick look around showed that it was a promontory facing the Pacific Ocean. A nearby sign showed a map leading to a lighthouse, so I went up to explore.


There was nobody around except some early morning fishermen, who were just on their way home, so I had the promontory to myself. I went up a path through the trees. There was a sign warning you to look out for vipers, so I did.


Gnarled trees and undergrowth, old stone steps, cool spring air. I found a naval observatory, then the lighthouse in question. There were also remains of artillery batteries from the Meiji period with explanatory plaques.


I spent a couple of hours climbing around the cape, then went back to the road to look for the museum.


It was still lightly raining off-and-on, so when I got to the museum I was glad to find a couple of chairs set out in front, under an overhang. I sat there and read a book for an hour and a half, waiting for the museum to open.


The exhibition was of art nouveau and art deco works. I don’t know anything about art, but when you’ve come that far and waited that long to get into an art exhibition, you tend to look really carefully at everything.


After leaving the museum I checked my mail. I mostly observed my no-phone rule on this trip, but about once a day I turned it on to check messages and reply to anything urgent, work stuff, etc.


I went up the road and caught a bus, this time heading for Yokosuka station. At the station, I decided to have lunch, so I found a little tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlet) place.


Another of my rules on this trip, by the way, was to only eat at local places, not chain restaurants. I wanted to eat someplace I’d never been before and probably never would again.


From Yokosuka I went back to Yokohama, to do the random number thing I’d intended to do that morning. Here were the rules:







On my phone’s stopwatch app, I’d hit ‘start’ and then ‘stop’ at random intervals (not looking at the screen). Depending on the last digit (hundredths of a second), I’d decide which train to get on next:

1 or 6: JR line
2 or 7: Tokyu line
3 or 8: Minato-mirai line
4 or 9: Sotetsu line
5 or 0: Subway line


And I rolled a 1.58. The last digit being 8, I went to the Minato-mirai line platform. This train goes only one direction from Yokohama, so my course was set.


I asked my stopwatch how many stations I should go before getting off, and it told me six (0.86). But this line only has five stops on it, so I presumed I was to ride to the end of the line, Motomachi-Chukagai.


My park rule seemed to dictate that I should head first to Yamashita Park on the bay. It was raining, a bit harder than before. I walked along the water’s edge, which was thronged with young people all very enthusiastic about being alive. I decided to get a beer and snack from a convenience store and read my book a bit while looking at the sea.


In mid-read, the sprinkling rain turned into a proper downpour. I was still midway through beer, snack and book, so I searched around for someplace covered. But I discovered that, probably in order to annoy the homeless, the Yokohama city fathers had not provided one single park bench with anything covering it. I ended up taking refuge inside a phone booth, where I finished the beer, the snack, and a chapter.


I wandered into Chinatown and walked around a bit. But the primary attractions of Chinatown are the food and the shopping—and I’d just eaten and generally never buy things. After a brief stroll I started looking for a train station.


I got on at Ishikawa-cho station. Not interested in returning to Yokohama, I rode to the end of the line in the other direction, Ofuna.







At Ofuna I rolled a random number again:

0 or 1: Shonan Monorail
2 or 3: Shonan Shinjuku line
4 or 5: Yokosuka line
6 or 7: Tokaido line
8 or 9: Get off here and explore Ofuna


I got 3.86, so I headed to the Tokaido line platform. The train I got on terminated at Atami, so that’s where I went.


In Atami, I decided first to take care of supper. The shops around the station were all closed already, so I wandered farther and found a Chinese place run by a Filipina lady. The sura-tanmen (sour and spicy noodles) and gyoza were excellent.


After that, the two days’ fatigue and sleep debt overtook me, so I found a spot behind a building where it didn’t look like I’d be bothering anybody and went to sleep on the concrete.


I think I only got about two hours of sleep before the cold and wet woke me up. My one big mistake this trip was not dressing warmly enough to sleep out of doors. So I got up and wandered Atami till dawn.


All I saw of the town was between dusk and dawn, so I’m sure I got a different impression than most people have. But the streets were lovely, especially those with rivers running down the middle of them, with all sorts of quaint metal castings on the railings.


I also walked up and down the seaside, looking at all the boats on the quay, though it was too wet to venture onto the beach.


I thought of watching the sunrise over the ocean, expecting one of those scenes from the movies. But it was too overcast, and though the sky lightened into morning, the sun never came out.


Around the time I figured the trains would run, I wandered back to the station to figure out where to go next.


I’ll write about the third day of my trip in the next blog post.