the Degree Confluence Project

Japan : Kinki

7.2 km (4.5 miles) WNW of Shira-saki (Cape), Yura-chō, Wakayama-ken, Kinki, Japan
Approx. altitude: 0 m (0 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 34°S 45°W

Accuracy: 20 m (65 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View to the west #3: View to the north #4: Confluence location #5: Ina village #6: Ina harbour #7: Kawabata-san & Rie

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  34°N 135°E  

#1: Confluence N34 E135

(visited by Fabrice Blocteur and Rie Ito)

Japanese Narrative

26-Jul-2003 -- The raining season looked like it was finally over. It had been particularly long and catastrophic this year, breaking almost all the records of the last thirty years with heavy mudslides and flooding caused by torrential rainfalls. The death toll was over 20 throughout the country with more than half a dozen people still missing. But the weather forecast had predicted a sunny weekend and I decided to take a chance and visit the confluence located off the coast of Wakayama prefecture.

I left Maizuru on the Japan Sea coast at 6:30am and four hours later I was waiting for my friend Rie at the Hirokawa Beach station. Rie is now leaving in Osaka but she is originally from Wakayama where her parents still live. I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to rent a boat all by myself and I had called Rie a few days earlier asking for help. We had made plans to meet on Saturday morning at this station. I didn’t wait for long and at 10:45 Rie got off the train. It took us less than ten minutes by motorbike to reach the fishing village of Ina from where we hoped to find a boat. But easier said than done.

We were not very successful at the first place where we went. A woman was busy cleaning some seashells with two men standing by. Rie explained that we wanted to rent a boat but they told her that the sea was too rough today and that we’d better come back another day. We went further down the coast to the next village but the answers were everywhere the same: the sea was too rough for the boats to go out, and if the only reason we wanted to go to sea was to take pictures, we might as well take the pictures from the seashore. We came back to Ina to try our luck with some other people. This time we got lucky and a man offered to find a fisherman who might be willing to help us. Five minutes latter he was back and by looking at Rie’s face from a distance as they were talking, I knew we were in business. Kawabata-san, the captain of the 15-meter boat Shoei-maru, quickly showed up and we got on board immediately.

The sea wasn’t as rough as we had been told. The coordinates N34 E135 were entered into the marine GPS after I told the captain that the exact position would probably be about 200 meters southeast of the Tokyo datum. I turned on my GPS set on WGS84 as we were approaching and the 200 meters correction turned out to be almost perfect. It took about 35 minutes to get to the confluence and less than 20 to come back. Rie, who had had a bad experience at sea as a kid, was a bit nervous at first but she enjoyed her trip and was able to exorcize her fears of the ocean on that day. She didn’t even get seasick.

Japanese Narrative

26-Jul-2003 -- ようやく今年も梅雨が明けたようです。今年の梅雨は過去30年でもっとも長く、また記録的な降水量、そして至る所でそれによる洪水や土砂崩れで国内で20名ほどの犠牲者が出ました。またその過半数がいまだ行方不明となっています。しかし天気予報によると、週末は晴れるとのことで、この機会に私は和歌山にあるconfluenceに行ってみようと思い立ちました。




Translation and additional comments by Rie Ito

 All pictures
#1: Confluence N34 E135
#2: View to the west
#3: View to the north
#4: Confluence location
#5: Ina village
#6: Ina harbour
#7: Kawabata-san & Rie
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)
In the ocean, but with a view of land.