What Japan lacks in public architecture, it makes up with beautiful indoors, fragile wooden designs and historic – if occasionally worn-down – wood. All that makes the country a beautiful place for staying in hostels. Outside of the big cites, they are cozy, well-kept, traditional and – if you are lucky – feature an Onsen. This place in It? had all of the above: We slept on tatami mats in between wooden sliding doors and with a river before our window, the hallways had creaky wooden floors and a beautiful Onsen. These bath houses make you fully undress and put your clothes in a basket, then move on to a washroom where you can sit on a wooden stool and shower yourself with hot water before jumping into a giant, communal bathtub.
We had gone to Ito for a break from the big cities. It was by the sea and you could take another train to some storm-torn cliffs. In the end, we spent all afternoon in the city and by the sea, enjoying the sun that had suddenly come out.
The language barrier is all-encompassing.
Before moving on to Tokyo, we took the train out to see the cliffs and the lighthouse the area is famous for. It looks like it was built by space aliens in 1975.