Saturday, April 7th 2018
Back before we boarded the Volendam, I published a blog entry entitled “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”, and therein I described what I hoped to experience during our visit to the Japanese homeland, little did I know then, that experience would be manifested in the Port and countryside of Hososhima, as well as in the spirit and loving care of a Japanese lady named Junko.
We had booked a seven hour excursion to the beautiful park of Takachiho. This location had been built through volcanic activity in past eons. However, it’s beautify and magnificence would be denied to me. The trail into this deep gorge was accessible through a series of beautifully stone paved steep stair steps. As I descended this beautiful pathway, it became apparent that my right knee was having none of this and if I continued it would at some point fail and dump me on ‘my lips’. Enter our tour guide; Junko!
When I advised her of my condition, her deep compassion for this elder citizen took over, as she abandoned the 27 other folks to continue descending deeper into the chasm , knowing another guide would look after them. Junko stayed with me and ordered a vehicle to pick us up and take us to the ending point of the trek; our scheduled restaurant.
My special ‘sugar free’ lunch and the view from the dining room, of the access road.
Her concern for my welfare and safety continued throughout the rest of the excursion.
Through a series of misunderstandings between Junko, our bus operators and a couple of our guests, our departure to the next attraction was delayed, yet, later, as we motored back to the port, she took complete responsibility and profusely apologized “for HER mistakes”.
Premier seating for the dancer’s performance!!
Since a front seat was available for our return, I took advantage and sat across from Junko;s ‘station’. When the occasion presented itself, and others were napping, I shared part of my dream with this gentle lady, and explained, with a lump in my throat, that her character had helped fulfill that dream.
Our return trip also showed me more of why the Japanese lives are ‘so ordered’. From our driver as he maneuvered our bus over the narrow roads as though it was on a set of rails, to the orderliness of the traffic flow, to the park like condition of the farms, gardens and landscape. As Junko explained “It is because they are taught to believe that some entity is always watching how you live”.
Though I missed the main attraction, I feel I gained so much more, through this series of events, and I can truthfully say our God had a hand in every move.
Just moments before reaching the port, Junko shared with me a very special life conversion that she had previously experienced.
So I don’t have many pictures to share but for me, my story is ‘the image’ I wanted to share.
As the ship was made ready for departure, and a beautiful tug lay off our starboard side, the port shoreside staff had placed two large speakers on the dock and were playing “Auld Lang Syne”. But the real twist was I was just about the only person ‘manning the rail’ to hear it.
Icing on the cake for my day!!!
Jack W Cummings – Far East Adventure 2018
Jack and Barbara Cummings
Retired US Navy, Retired Network Technician
View all posts by Jack and Barbara Cummings
2 thoughts on “Hososhima, Japan”
TRUTH! Sad about your knee, but grateful for your experience. & the light & wisdom you gained along the journey. Miracles abound! Love you!
No one better to “man the rails” than you, Shipmate!