Started off with a lazy Gusto breakfast. Mmmm butter and sugar and all you can drink ice coffee...
We started driving among the winding mountain roads. Suddenly the GPS said "景色が良いルートに入ります". "You are now entering a scenic route". Hmm, really? And then this opened up ahead of us.
These windy mountain roads were exciting to drive on. Many corners were too tight for two cars to pass on, so you had mirrors to check for oncoming traffic. Some corners even had a "honk" button which means you need to lay on your horn around the corner to warn other cars. At times we had to back up to a meeting point. It was absolutely breathtaking though.
One of the highlights in the Shikoku guidebook I showed in the into was "the peeing boy", so of course we took the hour-long detour to see it. Did not disappoint.
In these winding mountain roads we passed by an abandoned gas station and as a lover of rusty stuff I couldn't avoid shooting some pictures.
When we first spotted this bus, it looked like it was backing out into the valley and was going to fall. Turns out it's specially built for the tiny winding roads here, and the back wheels are unusually far forward so that it can negotiate the sharp turns, and when it does, it looks like it's falling off the cliff.
The other highlight in the guidebook was the Iya valley vine bridge.
Makes for good pictures, but of course look closely and it should be called the steel wire bridge..
As the Japanese people were wobbling from step to step, my massive scandinavian feet had no problem walking normally
Lunch nearby of handmade udon noodles at the restaurant of a cold bitchy lady. Couldn't beat the view though.
We made it into our final destination for the day, Kouchi city, quite early for once. On the way I spotted this sign and had to investigate.
Yes, it's the MOS Burger + Mister Donut collaboration where they make weird mashup food with hamburger parts and donut parts. I liked my desert one (the first one).
Arriving early meant we could actually explore the city for once. As we were walking from hotel to the shotengai (shopping street), for a while we were walking alongside some people who looked, talked and acted like your stereotypical TV drama small-time yakuza. They started talking about us and how tall we were and joking about how one of their members was so short. We didn't let on that we understood (I hadn't had enough to drink to do stupid things yet), but it was pretty funny.
Kouchi has a bridge with some backstory that's famous or something
We went up to Kouchi Castle, but they had already closed so we could just meander around the park.
Pollinic thought he could spot Nogizaka's uniform among this lineup
AUGH WHAT IS THAT GET IT AWAY FROM ME
JACK BAUER bar
So we had that typical problem when a group is trying to find somewhere to eat and nobody has anything in mind and you can't decide on where to stop and just eat something. So Pollinic said "OK next place we pass with food, we're eating there."
The next place ended up being here
And this is the only menu they have
Well we mustered up all the reading skills we could among us three and ordered the things that were the easiest to read, including fried whale
and the local specialty, Katsuo (Skipjack tuna)
In the end it turned out really well!
Back at the hotel I realized I was running out of clean clothes, and so was Naruse, so I trundled up the roof of the hotel to do some laundry.
Their PoS dryer had just made the clothes slightly wetter and not at all dryer after 2 hours, so I gave up and hung the clothes to dry hoping they'd be good by daybreak