Happy Science, Chiba

I left Haru’s house in Katori in the early afternoon and set off south along the coast of Chiba. It’s quite renowned in Japan for having nice beaches and good surfing, although coming from Australia I must be spoiled as the beaches I saw were mediocre at best. I happened to run into this little guy along the coast as I was cycling. I went to grab him a carrot to bring him out, but when I turned around he had bolted (I know right, since when were turtles fast?).

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Besides getting absolutely shredded by the wind, there wasn’t much else happening along the coastline. Darkness crept in and just as I was about to reach my potential camping ground I found the happiest place on earth.

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I have bumped into (more like been harassed) a few times on this trip by some die-hard followers of happy science. I wrote about them in a Niigata blog post. I was casually rolling around the immaculate, luxurious university and decided it was time to grab a photo. The University must be doing something right, or very very wrong because there were still students everywhere at 9:00pm in the middle of basically nowhere. So I stopped a passerby and asked if he’d take a photo of me. We started talking and he was very interested in me for no real reason. I figured it was time to take the photo but next thing I know, I look left and right and I’m absolutely surrounded by other uni students. I had only been talking to him for maybe 2 minutes…. So I asked everyone to join me for the photo.

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They asked if I would stay and watch them practice their dance for an upcoming festival. I had nothing else to do… except find a place to sleep that night. So I obviously kindly obliged. I thought they were pretty good! But the girl who was watching with me kept saying they were まあまあ and had only just begun.

 

 

When they finished, just about each and every one of them came up and said thank you for watching and shook my hand. It kind of made me realise that even though their religion may be seen as strange and weird, all of the people I met there seemed genuinely kind and friendly #inb4converted.

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So I set off to find my campsite at around 10pm. Things were looking dire, but I found a little beach park kind of thing and I went in to use the bathroom and a group of car campers waved me over. Reminiscent of Niigata, I went over and joined them for a few drinks and some snacks. We talked late into the night and had a great time. They even allowed me to use their RV shower (nice warm water). All in all, a much more eventful day than I was expecting, but that seems to be becoming the norm whilst I’m over here.

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