most of those bookmarks were placed during my second time through and just random stops i made at convenience stores. the first pass through ehime i didn't really do much. i went straight through it to the port of matsuyama to get a ferry and be in yamaguchi/yanai before night.
but i can still write about it. the first pass through ehime was from kochi to matsuyama and involved going through the mountains, over rivers, and lots of small villages. this was probably week 2-3 of being in japan. there was hardly any convenience stores in these places and so that's why i kind of rushed through it. there were abandoned houses and stuff even along the main roads in the mountains. one building was completely rotted inside, no floors, yet the roof was somehow still there. i went inside and looked around and the dirt floor was actually soft and had old papers and clothing and things. i found a bunch of vinyls and a bag, i put the music in the bag and kept them with me for the entire trip, bringing it home at the very end.
another abandoned house along a main road in the mountains was once a store, there was a few others alongside it, and it was situated on a steep slope. you could climb the slope a bit and there was another house further back. that one house was without a doubt abandoned, windows and door were either broken or opened, but the inside kept alright from the roof. it had a lot of knick knacks, books, even pornography vhs. they must have had only 1 daughter because the only other bedroom was full of old 90s electronics and toys, posters, clothing, shoes. there was just stuff everywhere in that room.
also near that house was a store or something, it was opened too. it must have been a woodworking thing, because the bottom level of it was filled with pieces and chunks of wood. back in the day you could have just pulled over from the main road into this gravel area and it would have been part of a strip mall type of thing, with the few other buildings attached stretching out from it. the others weren't opened.
there was an old house to the side as well, it was really old, just had the sliding wooden doors like you now only see on temples. it was completely empty aside from a few stuff. this house was definitely older than all the others yet it looked great inside. the people who lived there must have packed everything up and moved away. it was filled with spider webs and when i opened a sliding closet thing, it was like a family shrine, somewhere they put a photo of their dead parents maybe. the pictures were face down, there was some of the stick incense still there, lighters, and other things. a rat was in the bottom of that space nested in a pile of some fabric. there was some pots in the kitchen, it looked nothing like a modern kitchen, there's wasnt an empty space for the fridge so they must not have had one.
further into the mountains was another abandoned building, the front door was open. it had two almost hot-tub sized tiled pools in the front, and the floor was littered with crab shells. there was living arrangements in the back of this, and the blankets in the sliding wall closet things still looked clean. they had carpet on this floor, there was dead bugs and things but nothing else really. upstairs was another carpeted loft, there was a small animal skeleton in here, like a cat or dog size. there was also a few glass baubles with an opening on one end lying around the floor. they were pretty big like 14 inches in diameter, i think they were street lantern bulb covers because in some other areas they have similar big glass bauble lanterns wrapped in a net-patterns of rope.
that was all in between kochi/ehime. aside from the abandoned houses you went through a lot of tiny villages and villages that are built onto steep slopes. the mountains mostly have bamboo. in between the mountains there's usually a river deep down. there's a lot of bridges. you end up going through a few mountain tunnels, and using roads made by leveling off part of the slope. so one side will be the mountain, the other will be a railing and you can always look around. on the mountain side the use a lot of concrete and rebar to reinforce the side, there's also huge metal guards and mesh things sticking out and driven up along the mountain to contain falling rocks. sometimes near cities they'll place geometric concrete forms, or maybe they mould the conrete with the patterns, but you'll see hexagons and fake rock/brick along it.
it seemed like just old people lived in these places. they do a lot of farming somehow, you also see small plots for vegetables and things people groe for themselves around their houses. on the top of many of these mountains, there are little temples and shrines.. i think this is because mountains are kami. they are a pain in the ass to reach but once you're on top it's mostly the same everywhere. they have stone blocks or actual stone stairs leading all the way up with the arches at either end, a thing for washing your hands that's usually full of nasty water breeding mosquitos, small tiny house shrines along the border, and the actual temple building.
coming down from the mountains to matsuyama, it was really steep, going on my bicycle i was afraid of how fast it was accelerating me, and there was a lot of curves, if you went over the railing on the edges you could maybe die. so i was going down with my brakes on not even pedaling. toward the end however you get this sight from above of matsuyama, the coast, and the bamboo between you and it. at the very end you are going down still very fast but it stops curving and you are rewarded with this straight 'slide' almost. i coasted for a few minutes down this road and it was so much fun seeing everything appear. then you know you get into the actual city at this point. all the cities look the same to me and i don't really pay attention to stuff inside them. i ended up finding a mall and i bought rubber croc shoes. i then went northwest to the port, got a ferry ticket to yanai/yamaguchi, and waited in line. i basically go to the front and wait for all the cars to board and be secured inside the cargo of the ferry, then at last i go in, a guy takes my bike and attached it to the side, and i go up. a ferry has a big cargo thing on the bottom level, and then above it there's a lobby. there are bathrooms, usually an open area filled with vending machines that cook ramen for you, serve ice cream cones, or just soda/snacks, there's also rooms to the side with windows and stuff so you can look around. the people in the lobby didn't really talk, there must have been 40 passengers though. they all were on their phones, were reading, or using a tablet or something. most of the people on tablets were reading digital manga. deboarding is basically the same as boarding but in reverse with me last.
it was night when i got off, and i didn't think it would rain, so i just went to the nearest temple and slept in front of it on the ground. during the night i could hear some guy beating up a succubus and people yelling at each other. attached are some pictures taken between muroto and matsuyama. aside from the stuff i can definitely remember and the pictures that show street signs i'm not sure where they were exactly taken, but it definitely covered going through ehime my first time.