The start of classes was still a long way off. I could stay in Kamakura or I could go back - the decision was mine. I decided to stay put, at least for the time being. My friend was of a wealthy family in the Chūgoku region, and he was never wanting for money. Nevertheless, he was a student like myself, and young like myself, so our styles of living were not dissimilar. Accordingly, I could remain on my own there without the trouble of seeking a lesser room.
My inn was in a remote quarter of Kamakura. Playing billiards, eating ice cream, or other such fashionable engagements, required a long walk through the fields. Rickshaws were available, but the fare was twenty sen. Nevertheless, there were a number of private villas scattered here and there. The sea was close by, so the situation, for bathers, was quite ideal.
Every day I set out for the sea. As I made my way past old, soot-darkened thatch roofs and descended toward the beach, I would wonder at the multitude of city dwellers residing here to escape the heat. Atop the sand was a mass of men and women in motion. At times, the sea itself was packed with dark heads, much like a bath house. I knew not a soul among them. Amidst by this vibrant scene, I enjoyed myself immensely, lazing on the sand, breaking the waves with my knees, or jumping about in the surf.
It was within this throng that I first spotted Sensei. At that time, there were two beach-side tea huts. I had come, by happenstance, to frequent one of the two. Unlike those in the grand villas of Hase, the vacationers here did not have access to dedicated facilities and were reliant on shared changing rooms. At the tea huts, in addition to relaxing over tea, guests could launder their bathing suits, wash the salt from their bodies, and check personal items such as hats or parasols. I didn't own a bathing suit, but I was concerned for my belongings, so before swimming I would check them all at the tea hut.