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27 December 2010 @ 08:37 pm
Japan Travelogue: B.A. Special  

Attention, please! KinKi4ever Entertainment proudly presents a (kind of) SCP special report of and by: B.A.! ^^

Woohoooo, it's B.A. time!!!!

O.K. folks, so now poor B.A. (which would be myself) has to show off in order not to disappoint all the crazy (in a nice way) friends of KinKi Kids' most devoted fan (or who can say they spent their entire money on a trip around the globe just to watch two guys from far on a projection screen instead of up close on a TV screen?? I wonder whether we can make out what the tiny figures far faaar away on the stage will actually be doing once we get to the concert...)

Well, anyway, I'm trailing off *ahem*. The reason I invade this sacred place is the side trip I undertook yesterday, having had enough of temples and shrines and all other religious stuff. I was up to something _mundane_, down-to-earth, back-to-nature, you name it. Even though a random shopping street close to tourist attractions might look close enough to what you would know and expect to see in old Samurai movies, the buildings are actually quite new (what do you want, it's earthquake country, right?). Not to mention the cancerous spread of dangling electric cables connecting these wannabe-antiques, the cars running through the streets, the "gozaimasu" shouted at you from every store yadda yadda yadda. In short, I was quite happy to read that you could reach two renovated post towns of an old post road in the mountains in relatively short time, and - hooray - for free as we are happy proprietors of Japan Rail Passes.

I started off by train to Nakatsugawa, then by bus into the mountains to Magome, the first of the two post towns. There is a really nice road there where driving cars is forbidden, no power cables clutter your magical view of the surrounding mountain ranges and water mills add traditional strokes on the historical canvas.

Why didn't I take Tanja with me (or, to be more frank, why would she _never_ come there in the first place), you might ask? Well, the road itself is about a 100 metres long, and then it's nothingness; you can be a lame and lazy tourist and fetch a bus to the next town, or you can - and guess what I did - take the hiking trail, which is 7.7 km long and takes you along the traditional road the voyagers of old had to follow in order to get their next few cups of Sake. Not only would the trail not be according to Tanja's travel mood, but what is more, the path was already partly covered in snow, giving it both a magical and dangerous touch that made me quiver with excitement :-)

To make a long story short, I started to walk, continued to walk, met a few hikers from Singapore (who stared at me wearing nothing but a sweater because I was hot from ascending the last steep slope), a man from Germany who was spending some time with his half-japanese (and pretty pretty) daughter, was invited into an old traditional shed where green tea was served for free along with some pickled fruit called "Ume" by a nice fellow with a rice hat; and ended my walk in Tsumago, enjoying the wonderful panorama of snow covered mountain peaks in the evening sun.

And then it got dark (which was still pretty because the lamps along the road of Tsumago shone) and cold; and I, not having any watch with me, realized that I had missed the penultimate bus and had to wait for an entire hour until the next would come.
(O.K., to not sound too stupid, I had actually planned on this, but had expected there to be a few open restaurants in Tsumago (as there had been in Magome), but my plan was destroyed and the shops were already closing when I came back up from the bus station to warm myself up).

It turned out that it had been a good idea to bring along a second pullover and a book (although there was not much light); three Taiwanese (or so) girls had missed _their_ last bus (their own fault, they had not checked their bus schedule beforehand <- just trying to make myself look better ;-) ) and had to wait for mine as well. When they saw me, hunched over my book and freezing, they were warmed in their hearts (they still had to put on another scarf for warmth) and even offered me one of their hot coffee cans they had just bought from a vending machine (which are really ubiquitous here!). How sweet :-) (boy must I have looked pityful...).

Then the bus came and I went back home. Searched for something to eat (there are thousands of places to eat in every shopping center, right?!), found only places that were packed with people, and then, when I finally found places with places left, they were _closing_! Crap crap crap. :- when suddenly I was grabbed by a waitress and pulled inside her store, where for the first time I ordered something I had absolutely no idea of what it was (no english menu, no pointing-and-ordering); turned out fine though (and the price was reasonable, which, of course, is the most important thing).

So, I bored you long enough. Back to our crazy butterfly, who will be maddeningly glad to finally get her hands on this brave keyboard (don't hit me, please! Ouch! OKOK, I give it up...)


Current Location: Kyoto Royal Hotel
Current Mood: artisticartistic
Current Music: Ambient chillout crap
yoko_maru on December 27th, 2010 08:45 am (UTC)
Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..............you're still alive though running around in 1000000000 Johnny stores. ;)).

I got your mail, I wish you happy very-belated Xmas too. :DD

Have a nice evening (or so...)

єℓℓι: TakkiTsubamonstakarotte on December 27th, 2010 01:30 pm (UTC)
hehe, the trip sounds quite nice in my opinion... maybe the cold in the end wouldn't be after my fancy, but the rest sounded cool ^^

nice to read this "SP" XP

have fun, both of you :)