Hello all, let’s continue with my post yesterday! 🙂
At the second day in Atami, we had much more opportunity to see the Atami City because at first we will be given speech by the mayor of Atami and after that we’d stroll around the Atami City with some students from International Tourism Special Training College!
So at first in the morning, we had breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant and it was incredible because from the window we could see such a fantastic view of Atami Beach line and sun rising! 🙂 The food was a combination of Japanese and Western style buffet so we could basically just pick anything that we want.
After that, we heard a speech by Mr. Sakae Saito the mayor of Atami city, he is also a Tokyo Tech graduate in the department of Civil Engineering. He spoke English quite well because he used to spend several times at USA as exchange student.
The name Atami literally means hot sea, it is related to the source of hot water that comes from the sea. So, Atami, as i have mentioned is a city that’s very famous for its hot spa resort and also its beautiful white sandy beach. Back the in the 17th period the Mayor said that the water from Atami was carried to Edo Castle and it was also a popular spa resort among commoners.
Atami City is also famous for its Geisha performance, but in this visit we did not see the geishas performance. There is also a famous fireworks festival in Atami which is held on December (it’s so pity that we’ve missed it).
After the inspiring and exciting speech by the mayor finally we met the student of International Tourism Special Training College. There were 7 people inside my group; me, Shen Yue, Alfan, Chaiyatorn, Daniele, Raisa (an Indonesian master exchange student) and one person from the college. My group was lead by Dian, a 19 years old Japanese-Philippines that study in that college. She was very friendly and nice, also as a half bred her face was unique and not as common Japanese.
From the building that we had the lecture we were heading uphill too see Kinomiya temple near the JR Atami Station. On the way we’ve seen a natural hotspring source and near that there was a shop that we can buy raw egg and boil it inside the water. Our first stop was Kinomiya Temple, it was very beautiful.
Here is some picture at Kinomiya temple :
After that we visited Dian’s college. The college was actually divided into 2 majors. First of all about tourism and the second was about medical (some kind of special college to be a nurse). So we saw the entire school facilities from the banquet replica and wedding ceremony replica hall, kitchen for culinary subject until rooms designed imitating hospital for nursing activity.
After that we walked to Atami Sun Beach, on the way we past Atami Ginza, which was quite funny. I wonder whether this Ginza or Tokyo Ginza appeared first. But contrary to Tokyo Ginza, this Ginza didn’t have the glamorous atmosphere as Tokyo Ginza.
After walking for some times, finally we could embrace the Atami Sun Beach. The beach was very clean, peaceful, and serene. The tranquility and white sand somehow reminds me of Bondi Beach of Sydney. It was really wonderful and i spent some time only standing there to embrace the beach’s beauty.
I also walked a bit to the docks and i found a quite cute spot for couple called the Lover’s Sanctuary plus a place where the couple could put their hands together. Romantic! But since at that time my boyfriend wasn’t there, i took photograph with my YSEP friends, Shen Yue 😀
As we strolled around the city i could see that the city was very peaceful and quiet. Although it was a day after Christmas i could not see many people on the street and there were also not so many vehicles crossing. I’ve seen quite lot of house and building unoccupied. The reason of this was Atami City’s citizens were mainly seniors. The population kept aging year by year, the birth rate kept decreasing as well and there seems to be not enough people in the productive age. This wonderful city was somehow a bit lacking of vigorous youth spirit. Those factors also affected the tourism business of this city. As shown by the mayor’s presentation, the number of people that stays overnight at this city kept decreasing year by year.
Frankly speaking, i really think that this very beautiful city really needs renewal. It’s such a pity that a city with much breath takings natural attractions is being less known day by day, especially by young people.
But i think Atami city is on the way to renewing itself, such as renewing major public facilities inside the city. The JR Station, and the city hall is being renewed and it is approximated to finish by 2014. The Atami government right now is also working with new projects such as the sakura and jacaranda trees, and also doing some collaborations with private sectors.
And i’m really sure that by this, Atami City and its charming natural beauty can blossom more, especially in the eyes of young people!
Afifa Ayu Koesoema