Japan, the friendly country

by | Mar 27, 2024

March 27, 2024

Amami Japan

This is our second time visiting Japan and there is no other country more welcoming and helpful than the people of Japan.

Day one started with what was supposed to be a voluntary immigrations check.  They told us that if we planned to go ashore at any port in Japan, we needed to clear immigration at this stop.  As the messages started getting more often and more direct, I decided to go ahead and do it.  What if I needed medical care off ship, or anything else?  Well, then they started calling room numbers and names.  So, this isn’t optional, is it?  Well, after 45 minutes of standing in line, I was officially okay to go ashore at any Japanese port.  Big deal. 

Stop number 2 of 5 in Japan. 

Big change in the weather, 64, windy and rainy, wow.   Yea, yea, I know there are no violins playing for us, it’s still better here than at home.  But I did miss my pool time yesterday due to high winds.  I’ll try again today. 

After a rather rocky sea overnight, we were at port.  Kim headed off as usual and enjoyed exploring the streets. 

When Kim went shopping with the chefs, she bought me another pineapple, best one yet.  The chefs and servers were all salivating over my pineapple, the smell alone was incredible, but when I offered to share it with them, they turned me down, crew vs guest etiquette I guess.  Today, she brought me some sushi, it’s a very dark meat and looks like tuna, I’ll let you know when I eat it tomorrow.  Once again, the seas are smooth tonight.  We have learned a lot about Japan and the war from our lectures. 

Last night we had our final dinner at the Grill.  They are closing it down and opening a Mediterranean food restaurant.  We will have a chance to try it out before our cruise ends.    

So, I was really worried about finding content for my Pool Chronicles, you can’t make this shit up, but they never fail me. 

So, here we go….

Ross, our cruise director, gave me the first one.  As people board the ship for the first time, it is like everyone losses any sense of protocol.  People step right in your face and say things like toilet, where?

We were late to lunch the next day and all the tables had at least one person at them.  I picked a table with one guy and asked if we could join him, sure was the response.  Well, I’m sure you remember toupee Joe, he got off in Taipei.  Well, this guy was Joe also, and he got on in Taipei.  He is short, cranky looking and frank.  He asked me what I do for work, and I told him I was retired.  He said how do you survive; do you rely on your social security income?  That’s when I knew he was playing me.  I told him that we were living on the social security checks, but we had to pledge several years of our payments to the bank to pay for this trip and I had no idea how were going to survive when we got off this trip.  He’s no dummy and could see I was calling his bluff.    He then asked me seriously when I retired, and I told him I was 44 when I retired.  He was a bit shocked and asked my field, and I responded real estate investment.  He said he dabbled in that also.  I didn’t say it, but I thought it, a lot of people do. 

He told us he was from the country of Texas and lived in Houston.  Turns out, he is a prominent surgeon there, who knew.  The next day, Kim saw him exiting the shuttle bus and he said he didn’t understand why he paid so much for a cruise that takes him to such crappy ports.  Kim loved the crappy port, it’s in the eye of the beholder, I guess. 

She found Tequila with a snake in it, what?

And she found this great shirt.

She also found this sign, anyone want to take a stab at it?

Kim ran into a guy today that was cold and told her that he never expected this cruise would encounter cool weather.  Folks, both of us checked the weather and we both knew we were in for a big change when we hit Japan.  I even packed a jacket, didn’t need it yet.  Why don’t people do any homework, really?

Then, the big one hit me.  It’s 4:00 and time to leave port.  I’m sitting in my assigned seat at the pool, watching the towns people giving us a send off of music, song, and dance.  A guy walks over to the rail by me and exclaims, “Wow, are they here for us”?  I couldn’t help myself, I say, no, in Japan if you live in a coastal town there is an ancient ritual that at 4:00 every Wednesday, the town has this ceremony asking the Gods of the sea to keep them safe and calm the seas.  He told me that makes sense and left.  Occasionally I feel guilty for giving misinformation, but it doesn’t last long. 



  1. Richard Erickson

    I think it’s cool the way you play the other guests! As an old cruise veteran I’m sure you’re believable.

  2. Kip Stodghill

    4:00 Wednesday Ritual……..HA HA HA !!!!!!

  3. Brynn Lovingfoss

    Good one! Luckily you won’t be around to witness the 3:00 Thursday ritual, I hear it gets crazy.


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