Welcome to Ohshima

Map of Ohshima at the pier.

Dawn from the deck of the overnight ship; our first view of Ohshima.

We are thrilled to be here!

Magically, Hiro, a friend of Mana’s, has arrived on the same ship and is waiting for us at the pier with her car to take us to the hot springs and the top of Mount Mihara, Ohshima’s volcano. Good thing we missed the bus!

Beside the indoor hot springs pool are showers, where we clean ourselves before entering the pool.

The outdoor hot springs pool looks out upon the summit of the volcano.

Hiro goes off to work (she’s a massage therapist), and Enchan, an artist friend of Mana’s, comes to pick us up and show us the views. Mayumi and I get up on the fence for a better look at Mount Mihara’s caldera. The last eruption occured only 20 years ago. The volcano is definitely still active.

Near the volcano visitors center, a sign showing the viewer where to look across the ocean for Mount Fuji. It’s the blue cone on the horizon, and a huge feature in the distant landscape.

The volcanic seacoast near the house where Enchan lives with her baby Mani, aged 15 months.

When we got to Enchan’s house, I took a long nap. I hadn’t slept much on the overnight ship. When I awoke, to my surprise, three people were waiting to interview and photograph me for a magazine article! Hiroshi, Maki and Takashi were good-natured about the communication mix-up, but they were also on a deadline. So, I pulled myself together, put on a lovely dress, and off we went, with Mana and Mayumi, for photos in the forest behind Mana’s house. After the magazine people left, Mana, Mayumi and I visited Junko at her very aesthetically advanced Oasis Cafe and Inn, and she served us a healing tea. Tomorrow night I will sing at the cafe.

Enchan and Mani. Mayumi and I are bedding down at their home tonight. Mayumi made pan breads with a whole wheat and raisin dough she brought from Yokohama; Enchan prepared a green salad and a pumpkin soup from her own organic garden produce and sashimi with cayenne pepper from a fish caught two hours earlier off Ohshima. Mana gave us freshly prepared brown rice, and excused herself to go teach a class. While I happily cleaned up after dinner and did the dishes, Mayumi played my guitar and sang for us.