January 23, 2007

This is hardcore

Hello blog. It's been a month or so.
Christmas was cool, as much as it could be, being cut short by a brief return to work for my loved one. We had a great day and I got some amazing presents based around the central theme of my advancing years....

an awesome Orient watch being one of the highlights.

As hinted at before, spontaneous travel is not the easiest thing to do during one of the main holiday periods in Japan. Our, all be it slight, plans to go to Hokkaido were scuppered by weather, time, money and other tourists. However, after a flurry of phone calls and last minute checking, we aimed for a relatively untravelled part - namely Wakayama-ken.

Seishun 18 kippus being purchased we stopped off in the old favourite, Osaka, and had nearly enough Mexican food to prevent us squeezing into our capsules! Onwards, to Shirahama (a useful description to practice your Dutch) and after a drunken night of stripping and poker, we had a lovely sunny day to hit the deserted beach and take snaps-a-plenty.

Numerous local stations later we made the Shingu/Hongu connection and after garbled phone calls, were whisked away to our minshuku - "Kumanose" - for a New Year's Eve feast. We were staying in an old g'ma & g'pa's house near the town of Watarase, with a perfect little onsen by the river. The New Year's sunrise was seen in, chatting over the fence in the fast disappearing darkness and hugging-up in our standard issue robes. It was the best New Year's ever.

After more and more food, we headed out on our heels to visit an open-air hot spring - dug out of a riverbed!

There were a few more locals than in the above picture but it was "pants optional" and just great. We spent hours floating, relaxing and chatting.

The weather turned nasty to see us off but the memories are all good.
We returned via Osaka, more great places to go out and hit home a little train-sick but exhilarated.

Having to go our separate ways again is pure poop. Though Okayama is revealing more treasures the longer we are here - my latest discovery was this little gem, tucked away in a corner of the city center:

for those of you not yet reading your katakana - the name: HAADO PORUNO CINEMA. Complete with nude posters and sketchy curtains it's so tempting.... or not.

For now, I have decided to try and expand my mind until my sprout returns. Jacques Derrida's musings are the first to tackle. I am on top of the first page but it might be downhill from there....

Oh well, back to being a lonely man for the near future. Goodnight all.