We swapped fellow dirty backpackers for Jack's neat parents and missed the diving a lot.
After we finished the dive course, I got that kind of mood you get after coming back from summer camp. I missed the chilled out atmosphere in our dive centre, I missed diving, wetsuits, water and just about everything. We went canyoneering, jumping and swimming really helped. I never felt so much adrenaline. One day we rented a bike and quite sceptically rode around the signs with canyoneering tours, finally bumping into a guide who offered us one a half price.
Yes. We paid a guy to persuade us to jump down into a ridiculously narrow pool 15 meters bellow us. Some of the jumps were really scary as you step out with your foot and fall 10+ meters (I guess it would be a "giant stride" in diving terminology). Our guide Glen was really young but he knew every single rock along the river and safely got us down there and back up. If you ever decide to do canyoneering in Cebu island, definitely contact him here!
I need to admit, I wasn't fussed about Japan. So far I only have one travel philosophy, "Travel to developing countries. They will eventually develop and you will never have the same experience. Now, I am very happy that we went against this theory. It's incredible how European Japan feels while you are constantly culturally shocked. As our colleague Shannon said before we left, Japan is more European than Europe.
So far, we've had a great time here. We cycled around Kyoto and Nara and spent two not so interesting nights in Osaka. We swapped fellow dirty backpackers for Jack's neat parents and we have mostly eaten in places without a fear of food poisoning (till we got to a place serving raw chicken. As shocking as it is, if I trusted someone to prepare a raw chicken for me, it would be the Japanese.) So far it doesn't even seem that crazily expensive although you definitely can't afford the same luxury for ridiculously low prices like in SE Asia.
The Japanese are extremely courteous, welcoming and open. The last one actually surprised me. The Japanese I met abroad were always very shy so I didn't expect at all the first locals we started chatting to would be two very drunk and sociable men from Nara. They sat in a local sushi house sipping from a never-ending glass of sake when the more drunk of the two spotted our group and started socialising.
He introduced himself and asked where we were from in broken English and smoothly moved to speaking in broken Spanish. He was drunk and also quite creepy when we started speaking about his job. We had to go through a series of misunderstandings and Jack's dad's well-timed remark about turned out he had worked in Spain and England as a person recognising the gender of chicks on farms. He was a chicken sexer. Absolutely fascinating skill once unique to Japan. He definitely had a hard time explaining this to us. We thought he was just being obscene.