Thursday, May 21, 2009


This Golden Week I again did not have a lot of money to spend, so again I took to the roads around Fukushima and looked for places to hike. This year I took my friend Jon with me and Richard joined us for the third day.
We tried for 3 peaks in 3 days, but the third and tallest was too snow covered to reach the top. We did get to the tops of Adatara and Ogunigoya, but failed to summit Azuma. I am now suffering mountain withdrawl and I am going to hike the hills behind my house tomorrow. This was Golden Week.

Over the next few months I am setting my sights on higher yet, Iide and Fuji. Both mountains I have not done yet and both far higher than those that I have. It will be fun.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A Most Important Guest

I have been to many places to visit people that I know and a few times I have been able to return the favor and host someone. This time around I got the honor of having my mother visit me, which of course means very much to me. I was very excited to have her see my world. She has been following my travels through my blog and of course from our own private correspondence for a while and I have wanted her to share with me for some time, so this was really cool. My mother was really resilient too. Despite all the walking everyday and all the weird food I was putting in front of her she never really slowed down or refused to try anything, except for the raw horse meat  I think she was a very good traveler, inquisitive and respectful, open and ambitious.

We went to three places; Tokyo, Kyoto, and Aizu. In Tokyo we saw many things such as Ueno Park, Akihabara, Tokyo Disney, Odaiba, Meiji Shrine, Sousuji, Edo Museum and lots of other things. For all the large and wonderful things we saw, I think my mom was impressed most with the school kids’ uniforms, especially the girls with hats.
In Kyoto we went to Kinkakuji, Toji, and Fushiinimari-taisya Shrine. Again, many great things to see and do, but I think the most impressive thing was the Shinto ceremony going on at Taisya Shrine. Of course we also got to meet up with Brian and Cynthia, which is always fun and Brian can coax a smile out of anybody.

My mother said of the three places she liked Aizu the best. I’m not really sure why, but I think its just because she got to meet Aya’s parents and because she got to see what day to day life is like for me. We went to school, aikido practice, and went to the castle grounds to view some cherry blossoms.
It was sad to see her go in some ways. I think it’s really ok though, because she will be back some day and then I can show her even more.