Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shirane Mountain Adventure

It's Wednesday morning here in Tokyo.  Ken, Yumiko and I just got back last night from a three day adventure at a ski lodge in the Shirane Mountains in northern Japan.  Yumiko spent the better part of all three days learning how to ski.  I took a million not so hot photographs of the mountains and Yumiko in her Yukata and read "The War Within" by Bob Woodward. Ken studied Chinese language, read his own Japanese books, and made sure all of us were happy and content.  We had loads of fun in the hot spring each morning and evening.  It is such a wonderful experience.  And for me, who has NEVER been comfortable in the buff, it is something else.  On Monday evening after dinner, we all headed to the public bath.  Ken went into the men's part and Yumiko and I into the women's.  All clothes off, then to the washing area to do a thorough cleansing and then into the bath.  It was an exquisitely beautiful setting with the snow capped mountains outside the large picture window lit up by the moon and stars and steamy blue inside.  A group of about eight other women bathers were there with us.  After a little while, Yumiko and I ventured outside (still in the buff!) where it was at least 10 degrees below freezing, but we made it the short distance to the outside bath and dipped into the hot, hot pool.  The stars were out and I again had to pinch myself to believe what an experience this year in Japan has been.

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