Strange Trip

Go to the silver mine to meet an Argentine (2): I found this Argentina after the 17 hour trip.

☝The last story is here!

After the 17 hour on tren and bus, I arrived at Ooda station. There was the place where the Argentine girl lived, so we started walking to see her.

11:00 Ooda station

The center of the city was clean.

But after walking a few minutes, we noticed that there were many deserted buildings. It was actually a main street but there weren’t many stores open.

I was sorry

It is an influence of the decline of the Japanese population, now the small cities are going to lose the young because they go to the big cities like Tokyo or Osaka, and only the grandparents remain. In fact 30 years ago 45,000 people lived in Ooda, but today the population is only 30,000 people.

Is the Argentine girl really there? I was walking while I had that doubt, then at this moment that I was thinking like this, I saw that a occidental girl was in front of me.

* This is an image

Welcome to Shimane!

Before that moment, I did not imagine that a foreigner would have told me “Welcome to Shimane”, therefore I was very surprised. Honestly she taught me the difference between Shimane and Tottori. What a patriot of Shimane!

Shimane is left and Tottori is right. The kanji is similar so they cannot distinguish well.

Her love for Shimane was great, but his Japanese was more wonderful than this because it was very natural, when she spoke Japanese I get confused that he was talking to a Japanese or an Argentine. He also said that she was still 21 years old. there are indeed many smart and interesting people in this vast world.

So she was busy until evening because she worked in an NGO, usually she helped the village elders, taught different culture to young children and did a traditional dance Iwami Kagura’s assistant.

It’s a very interesting experience and I usually can’t find foreigners who can do like these jobs, and I asked how they found it. Then she said as was normal;

I found it on the internet!

She said like this, but the Japanese can’t go there easily either, that’s why I could tell that he has a great adventurous soul. Without a doubt she was special.

So when she was working, we went to go to the silver mine.

21:30 The interview at the hotel

At night we were at the hotel to hear your story and what you think about life in the rural area.


Well, you can speak Japanese very well! Since when did you start studying Japanese?

The girl

I started studying 5 years ago! I studied with the Japanese TV dramas.


So you learned very fast. You speak like a native now! Didn’t you travel to Japan before?

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The girl

I traveled with my family to Tokyo for the Quinceañera gift. But I love Shimane more than Tokyo!


Come on, how great! Honestly, many foreigners cannot live in rural areas due to differences in culture. But you speak like a Japanese and your attitude seems like a native. I understand that you can live here.


Her NGO chief

She spoke like a native since when she came here. Near Ooda, there is a station called «Oda» too. That is why normally foreigners are crying in the deserted station of Oda because nobody does not come to welcome them. But she could get Ooda as a Japanese from the beginning. She really says now that he doesn’t want to go back to Argentina and wants to be here.

The girl

For me, living here is better than the big cities because I feel that the people of Tokyo are a little cold. The Ooda people are very sympathetic! I really want to get a job here.


We..well, Tokyo people are a little cold to other people. I agree with you. Also there is no problem if you can speak Japanese as your level.

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The girl

The good points of this town are not only the kindness of the citizens! Here there is a lot of nature, for example you can go to Onsen, climb Sanbe mountain and go to the beach. In fact some other foreigners moved here. I really love Shimane!

Sanbe Mountain
Sanbe Onsen

Oh… You really love Shimane. I was very moved!

The girl

Hahaha, I’m happy if you understand a good part of this town. By the way, when are you going back to Tokyo? There is so much interesting place here!


Well… I’ll leave the hotel at 8 in the morning.

Her NGO chief

Hey, it’s too early, you have to sleep now!

Thanks to this trip, I was able to know one thing. It was what the Japanese allow you to enter society if you can speak Japanese very well and respect Japanese culture. She will be able to know many things about Japan and the Japanese will teach them too.

I returned home feeling happy because I could see a good relationship between an Argentine and the Japanese.

And I was happy because I was able to return to Tokyo for an hour by plane.

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