Sunday afternoon, the day after my return, the remnants of the 4th Floor Team gathered together and went down to Beppu City Park to see the sakura, or cherry blossoms. We’ve lost 3 previous members: Ting is back in Hong Kong joining the legions of working stiffs and Arami and Yunji are now living somewhere downtown. However, we’ve already recruited two new ladies to the team though, so our numbers weren’t too depleted.
Not having anything particularly pressing to do today, I decided to head down the mountain into town and hoof it through the west side of town. I only had two destinations in mind, Beppu Koen (park) and Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing chain.
Upon arrival at APU I was issued a semi-crappy map which was today’s key to the city. The map is useful in that it shows all the bus routes through town, and yet at the same time it is most definitely crappy in that whoever made it wholly arbitrarily decided what landmarks to notate on the map. Useful + Definitely Crappy = Semi-crappy! So, I had brought my semi-crappy map along, for as you well know by now Japan doesn’t bother with naming any small roads, and at this point I consulted it. My first primary destination west of Beppu-eki was the Koen, but I had some walking to do before I got there so I looked on the map for some interesting places to check out on the way. After all, any traveler can tell you that often the journey is more interesting than the destination and today was no exception.