Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Hike, A Jump and A Soak

The weather has been so clear I just knew I had to get out and get some excersize. So I went back to Haruno. With only a vague plan. According to my map there is a trail from one shrine to part 2 of the same shrine, passing an associated temple along the way. Now my map doesn't really give me any idea of how long this trail is. Maybe it only takes 15 minutes, maybe it would take 4 hours. I dunno. But I thought I would try and find it nevertheless. As I approached the town of Haruno I found a sign that pointed me to Akihasan, the afformentioned shrine. I parked in a parking lot, looked at the little trail map posted there and headed off. After a few minutes I thought it didn't look much like the trail according to that sign. But there were signs saying something was 110 minutes away in the direction I was heading. Well, whatever it was I was heading that way. I shortly walked into a cute little hamlet, with old wood style buildings and a cobblestone street. But then the real hiking trail began. And it went straight up. Really, it was more of a hiking staircase than a hiking trail. And I haven't done any hiking in ages and was completely winded. But I trudged up, slowly but surely. And after an hour and a half I reached the something. It was a bench, next to a sign that said there was another something or other up the trail in only another 110 minutes. I think not. So I sat on the goal bench and read my book for awhile and then headed back down. The return trip only took me 30 minutes. When I got to the car I realized that the entrance to Akiha Shrine was only across the street from my car, sorta between a couple of shops. So I went and did a quick look and headed back to my car. As I turned the key in the ignition not a bloody thing happened. At which point I realized I had left my lights on and the car battery was dead. Curse words came pouring from my mouth. So I figured out how to open the hood and stood around looking like a damsel in distress. Unfortunately there was nobody to see this pantomine so I had to go and search for help. So I went into a nearby restaurant and used the Japanese words for Excuse Me, Can You Help Me Please, Car, and Dead, while pantomiming the turning of the key. The women there were very nice and went and found a MAN to help me. Not that he understood my pantomine much better. But he quickly surmised the problem when we got to the car, ran to a nearby shed, rolled out some sort of charging machine and had my car working in minutes. Then, oddly enough, a man came up from the lower parking area and said he had the same problem. Hah, I felt so much better not being the only dunce around. Then I drove myself into town and found the onsen (hot spring) which was also on my map. I could certainly use a warming up and a freshening after all the sweating I did, and maybe I would treat myself to a massage and a light meal. Turns out it was a tiny, one pool onsen inside the community center. No massages, no cafe. But it was incredibly cheap. One dollar. The onsen I went to the previous week only had 3 pools and no extras, but cost 10 bucks. So I went and cleaned myself and then soaked. Boy did my tootsies appreciate the hot, relaxing water. And I had the place to myself. Drove home just in time to arrange to meet my student and pick her up to go to the new cafe near my place. We had an excellent dinner and chatted up a storm. Not bad for a Monday!


At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a really nice day!!

At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The above comment was made by me. I guess I thought you had ESP. Mum


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