Friday, August 25, 2006

Later that day... was this all that day? Oh no wait, we went to Himeji the next day~ Wednesday! Hiroshima was Tuesday and Wednesday we went to Himeji and Osaka. I got to see my friend Maren cause she lives and goes to school there. Yay!! There was this weird statue of a whale in the station so we took our picture like whales... I guess that's what we look like.

I would like to take time now to share with you our sleeping arrangments. It was interesting... but basically we went "homeless camping" or finding a good/well-lit spot to camp at. The first night was in a playground so around 6AM I woke up to two little boys staring at me. And apparently the neighborhood gathers at 6:30AM to do morning exercises together. I thought we should leave and not interrupt this time, however, my boys thought it would be fun to do the morning exercises.
The second night we slept underneath the train staion... next to the tracks meaning the frieght train went by every hour or so, which meant I did not get a lot of sleep, meaning I was on the verge of cranky the next day. A lot of cause and effect going on here...
The third night we slept in a park on cardboard (yay for Manganji and the Fungalo) and the fourth night we slept underneath a bridge. I was woken up by pigeons that morning... yeah, I'm like a homeless person. Except we kept justifying our homelessness by the fact that we showered EVERY day. No joke. We found onsens every day (public bathhouses) to clean up and charge our cell phones. So we were semi clean every day.

Thusday found us in a small and countryside place called GERO. (like ghetto) It's famous for it's onsens and natural hot springs. So it is very beautiful and we got to do some hiking which was awesome. Yay for more bridges.
We bought a little wooden "ticket" which meant you could onsen in three places for a single price of 1200 yen. This is good, considering we found thee best hotels in Gero and the best onsens and then we used our tickets there. ha ha!!
While we were hiking the boys played "junken" and the loser had to carry the girls bags. Mamo looks AWFUL in this picture but he was somewhat joking. ha ha!! It was so hot these four days but luckily we didn't have any rain until this day but we were onsening when it happened so no worries.
Keigo the adventurous one. We waded in a stream in hopes of cooling off and Keigo climbed this but I was more content to just wade.
Some random stautes, Megumi and I with our new friend...
A crazy picture of me with the view of Gero in the background. (Hey, Jane~ like my hat?) From where else but a crazy high bridge.
We did some hiking around these old houses... they had straw-thatch roofs.

And then we found a playground to release some energy stored from our train rides. We seriously were crazy this whole time. Like when people come out of their houses after a long winter or something...
After our hike and playing around we chilled in the onsen town. We traveled around the town making friends with restaurant owners, onsen owners and people visiting like we were. We became famous with our huge bags and walking around town. One guy said he had heard of us and was hoping we would come to his onsen. Isn't that crazy nuts?

After a LONG ride home, there was a lightening storm so we were stop and go for about an hour or two.... and then Keigo forgot his bag (not his big bag but his smaller bag) and so we had to backtrack a little. Which was no problem... but after that, I got home on August 25th at about 10PM or so. It was a great trip and a lot of fun!


paul said...

crazy nuts...i like that phrase. and nickel creek.

Mike said...

haha... i love the cardboard...

I'm totally jealous!!! now I'm stuck in college and can't go anywhere fun


Ojen said...

sounds like an awesome time Jo... I have to agree with Mike and say im TOTALLY jealous too! except maybe the part about pigeons waking u up... gross =)