In Izu

Woke up really early for the drive to Izu. I expected a lot of traffic, since it's spring and Sunday, but as it turned out, there wasn't much at all.

The weather looked a bit iffy in the morning...grey and that may have had something to do with it. Or more likely, everyone else was still asleep.

By the time late morning rolled around, the sky had cleared, and there were more people out and about, especially in the tourist areas.

bridgeThough I tend to avoid tourist places, we stopped off at a suspension bridge in Jogasaki, known as the tsuribashi (城ヶ崎吊橋), which is a "must do" for domestic tourists who visit the eastern side of the Izu Peninsula, as well as for visitors from other countries travelling on packaged tours.

(Actually...the main reason we stopped was to use the bathroom. There's a nice public bathroom here, but they've started charging 500 Yen for parking, so I'm going to have find somewhere else to make pit stops.)

It seems like everyone who visits the bridge has to pose for group photos, a process that's pretty entertaining to watch if you're not actually in a hurry to get to the other side of the bridge.

The reason this place is popular (other than the toilet) is the nice view from the bridge and surrounding cliffs, which overlook the Pacific Ocean.

During public holidays and other peak times, visiting this area isn't such a great idea, unless you happen to fancy the prospect of being overwhelmed by hordes of camera-toting tourists.

Today wasn't too bad, as there weren't all that many people around. But after taking a few obligatory snapshots of other people taking obligatory snapshots...we wandered off the path and sat on some rocks overlooking the ocean to enjoy a few homemade onigiri and some green tea for lunch.