Go to the silver mine to meet an Argentine (1)

This story started from when I saw a message.

Two weeks ago I wrote an article that foreigners cannot live long in rural Japan.

Then an Argentine woman sent a message like that;

“I live in Shimane without problem!”

I was very surprised because the province of Shimane is very rural and Japanese people also say “Where is Shimane?”. In other words  if an Argentine woman lives in there without problem, it’s a miracle. Therefore I responded to her message quickly.

“Can I do an interview in the town where you live?”

So she said


No sooner than I heard her response, I had started to make preparation for the trip. Thus A strange and long journey began.

The destination is Ooda, it’s a small city where only 30,000 people live. However formerly there was a really large silver mine and it was produced 30% of the world’s silver. By the way the origin of Argentina is from a Latin word “Argentum“, which means “Silver”, so it’s an interesting coincidence. But arriving there wasn’t easy for a poor worker. 

20:30 At the bus stop in Tokyo

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It’s already October, Tokyo isn’t a northern city, but it’s already cold. I offered my friend to travel with me. Both of us are working in Tokyo, we can’t travel like university students do. However this time we made a plan for going there from friday night until sunday afternoon.

After 5 minutes he came and we got on the bus. First destination is Okayama Station.

Okayama is the city for Momotarou, a well known children’s story in Japan.

We hadn’t understood the harshness of the overnight bus. We saved money to go to Ooda, we paid only 40 dollars to go to Okayama, so the seat was very hard and we had to sleep in there while listening to the noises of other passengers.

That time a thought accidentally occurred in my mind:

Am I traveling or am I on the slave ship …?

But in the end we were able to reach Okayama without a problem.

When we arrived to Okayama, we were already so tired but I had a good idea, I said to my friend;

“Haha, it’s okay, if we have a good breakfast in Okayama, we can feel energetic!”


6:05 In Okayama City


Oh.. no….

There was no restaurant or cafe.

We are living in Tokyo so we thought “Okayama’s coffee shops work like Tokyo’s coffee shops” but we couldn’t find anything …

We walked for 30 minutes and decided to go to the next destination «Izumo». My friend was already extremely tired and I saw that he had so big dark circles. I was so sorry.

For going to Izumo, we had to use the fast train called “Yakumo”. It’s a famous train that rattles a lot and causes its passengers vomit. When we were in Tokyo, we thought this;

“HAHAHAHA For men’s adventure it’s suitable.”

But when we get to Okayama, we are already very tired, therefore we think …

“I want … to go back to Tokyo … I will absolutely vomit on the train … (; ∀ ;)

But if we just complain, we can’t get to Shimane. We got on the train like zombies.

The Chugoku region where Shimane province is famous for its mountains, so the train rattles a lot. Both of us only slept on the train. So when I woke up …

We are already at Lake Sinji.

Sinji Lake is a tourist destination in Shimane province. It’s connected to the sea, that’s why it’s a salt water lake. In Japan it’s a little bit strange and the scallops are very good. Me and my friend talked about how we should eat the scallops when we arrive to Izumo station.

10:00 At Izumo station

The tourist restaurants had not been opened …

We bought some Onigiris without saying anything and decided to go to our last destination…. It’s because I didn’t plan anything for the trip.

After arriving at Izumo station, we got on the so small train. We could no longer see other tourists.

Inside the train it is very nice.

After an hour, we arrived to the last destination «Ooda«. So now let’s count how many hours we have travelled.

  • The bus 13 hours
  • The fast train from Okayama to Izumo 3 hours
  • The train from Izumo to Ooda 1 hour
  • Total 17 hours

We have travelled so much. We would reach Europe if we had been on the plane for 17 hours!

Finally we were at the station. We went to the hotel in Shimane where she is living with happiness.

To the next episode.

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