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Jun. 3rd, 2008



The first day of June was lovely!

Jeff and I woke up early and went to Mt. Gozaisho.  It is the tallest mountain in the Suzuka range (12,000 meters), and I can see it from my apartment.  It takes about three hours to climb to the top, and its a strenuous hike.  There are some points where you do have to literally climb the rocks as you go up the mountain.  It was my second time climbing the mountain; last October I went with Theda.

On the way up the mountain, we spotted some wildlife.  We saw a mountain goat, a pale green snake that wound it's way through the tree branches, and a reddish-brown squirrel.  It was very interesting to see a mountain goat in its natural habitat.

One of the interesting things about hiking up the mountain is seeing how the environment changes as the elevation rises.  Near the top, it almost feels like the jungle. 

The view from the top is worth the climb!  From one side, you can see Mie-ken, and on the other side, you can see Shiga-ken.  We took a ski-lift to the Shiga side of the peak (you can ski on Gozaisho in the winter), and looked out over the mountains.  In the distance, we could see Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan.

We had lunch on the top of the mountain, and I changed clothes and freshened up.  We took a ropeway down the mountain.  The ropeway is the steepest one in Japan.  On a clear day, you can see all the way to Nagoya and even to to Centrair airport.  At the bottom of the ropeway, you can buy freshly-made senbei.  They are sweet and flavored with black sesame seeds; when they are hot and fresh they are very soft, but they harden as they cool...they cool really rapidly, so your teeth end up getting quite a work-out. 

After the climb, we went to Nabananosato, a flower park, to see the ajisai (Hydrangea) exhibit.  There were thousands of blooms...white, pink, pale green, and shades of sky blue.  In my opinion, the blue ones are the prettiest, but they had one variety called "dancing princess" which was a white flower with a pink edge that I found to be very beautiful.

Nabananosato is more than a flower park...it also has an onsen, and at least half a dozen restaurants.  We went to the "German" Beer Hall for dinner.  The beer is German-style beer, and the restaurant is huge like a beer hall, but the atmosphere and food (other than 3 or 4 items) are decidedly Japanese.  It's a tasty place nonetheless, and I like the weizen there, it tastes a bit like apples and cinnamon.  

Before we left the park, Jeff treated me to ajisai flavored icecream!  It was a pink and blue soft-serve cone.  It was a vanilla base with ajisai fragrance.  Delicious!

May. 31st, 2008


Writer's Block: Improvised Parenting!!?!

Let's say you're a hobgoblin for 24 hours. What sort of havoc would you wreak? Or: If a baby of unknown origins suddenly fell into your care, would you keep it? What would you name it?
At this point in my life, I would not be able to take care of a newborn baby.  I live alone and work full time, and would not have the funds to send it to daycare or hire a nanny or whatever.

On the other hand, I certainly would not be able to just hand the baby off to an agency or whatever, so I suppose that I would want to take care of it until suitable parents could be found.

May. 30th, 2008


話題の提供: The Only True Question:

If you could go back and fix your most regrettable decision, what would it be, and what would you do differently? Or: Pirates or Ninjas?
Ninjas.  Obviously.

Besides the fact that they are able to blend into their surroundings and can carry off assassinations and espionage with the greatest of ease, they have 3 other things going for them.

-Ninjas are an equal-opportunity employer.  They are not superstitious about women bringing bad luck.  Therefore, they can get the best fighters of both sexes.  See くノ一.

-Pirates are loud.  They drink and holler, and generally carouse.  Ninjas are silent.  Jack Sparrow* would wander around looking for rum, and the ninja would repel from the ceiling and slit his thoat before he even knew what was happening.  None of his pirate chums would even notice.

-Ninjas are weapons.  They know how to kill people with their little toes.  They can use poison, ninjato swords, and shuriken; they can manipulate their environment to suit their needs.  But they don't need to.  Without guns or cutlasses, where would the pirates be?

*Nothing against Jack Sparrow or Johnny Depp's delicious portrayal of him.


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