Japan 2023: Day 8

As you’d expect, I didn’t get much done today, but then again, I got a lot done. My leg still hurt. A lot. And the massage therapist I see in Portland suggested I find someone who does deep tissue massage or a chiropractor. Do you know how few rolfers I found in Japan? I called 10 within 200 miles and I got no answers at all.

But first I ate some breakfast. I realized I’ve been at a Comfort Hotel before in Kochi. They’re really not my favorite, but there was a lot for breakfast. I ate more than yesterday because I think things are starting to loosen up a bit. I still didn’t eat a lot. Oh, and if you’re a fan of cereal, Comfort Hotel has it. I did not find white rice, however.

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I rode a bunch of short hops to Shimonoseki. One stop to the Shinkanen, two stops on the Shinkansen to Kokura, and then a couple stops on the local to Shimonoseki. I crammed myself onto the crowded Shinkansen because I was pretty sure the guy next to me was getting off way after I was.

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The area around the train station looks big but the restaurants aren’t open very late. There’s a Daimaru department store and some other stores there. The weird part is how many stairs you need to use to get across the streets. I dropped off my suitcase at the Via Hotel (which looked up even though there are stairs to get in) and headed out.

I went to make train reservations for my weird trip tomorrow which includes a stop to see my cousin and then backtracking and heading to another small town. But the ticket office is closed from 11am to 3pm and so I went to the tourist information bureau. They were staffed by someone who sounded possibly Korean. She basically pointed out some areas and a tower to see over the town. Instead of heading to the tower, I asked google about chiropractors and saw two not very far away.

The first one was closed. The second one looked an awful lot like someone’s house and the name made me think it was a chiropractic association and not a practitioner. I knocked and was let into a room that looked like a warehouse for kids toys (I guess like a house with small children) with an older looking exam room. The chiropractor told me he wasn’t really open but he’d see me. He told me he took himself off of Google and sure enough, I can’t find it any longer.

He was GREAT. Took two hours realigning me and while things still hurt, they were bearable. And I got some advice about tensing my lower abs before exerting myself. I guess he had a clinic in Tokyo and his late father had a clinic here and now he’s back home to look after his mother and eventually open up the clinic. He still has patients in Tokyo and he goes back and forth. Also, this is mostly guesses from what he told me, the doctors are so powerful in Japan that chiropractic is about to go away here and a lot of the people who put it on signs haven’t even studied it. Because of the medical lobby, it’s medicine or nothing here. He agreed with my assessment that acupuncture is for immediate but not long-term relief. Also, he’d taken night classes in osteopathic manipulation from a real DO. He said chiropractic manipulation is good while you’re younger, but osteopathic manipulation is better when you’re older.

Anyway, two hours of body manipulation and the guy was getting sweaty. I do feel better and while things still hurt, they feel like they’re getting better.

I found a taxi to take me to the tower and called today a success.

I saw a lot of south Asians on the way to the chiropractic clinic, and when I went to dinner it seemed like there were a lot of SE Asians working there. I had a hard time understanding some of them. I ordered one of the local specialties (I thought I ordered two things and a salad) and after that I ordered the 8 piece yakiniku set. I felt bad because I wasn’t drinking, so I got out of there after that.

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I still was a little hungry so I bought a rice ball and too much dessert at 7Eleven. I’m no TabiEats.

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After that it was time to take a bath in the big basement bath. I guess there’s a middle school trip staying here and luckily they weren’t down there. Just a weird dude who didn’t quite seem Japanese and a grandfather with his screaming preschool-aged grandson.

And that’s it for today. Lots of traveling tomorrow and lots more ibuprofen, I’m sure.

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