August 20, 2009
Today I got on the train to go to Ikebukaro...then got off and ambled over to the local train that was going the other way.
I got off in a place called Narimasu. Stopping in a fast food joint, I ordered something that appeared to be called "beef egg StrangeKanji rice Big". I was presented with a bowl of scallions and beef on a bed of rice with a rwa egg on the side. I was presented with a tool...presumably to use with the egg. I ASSUME the thing is to avoid an ungodly mess with the egg...The exact method to be used with this device is unknown to me, but I was able to narrow the possibilities by eliminating one technique that produced a demonstrably ungodly mess.
Afterwards I got back on the train and went, via 3 transfers, to what appears to be the very end of the Tobu line, a farming community called Ogose. I got off and made a perfect turon of myself as I went from shrine to shrine and, not having brought my Kanji dictionary today, followed the mile markers that helpfully indicated that several "things" were 0.6, 1.2, 3.1 and 6.8 kilometers away. One Bhuddist temple, one Shinto shrine and a senic overlook later I began hiking up a huge array of steps...that ended in more steps and arrived at what appeared to be a very modern tomb...and a trail off to the side marked with a sign that said "Kanji Kanji Mountain Up 5.4 KM"....so I decided to hike up to the top of Kanji Kanji mountain. (I THINK the name of the mountain is actually Kuro). Anyway, a couple of hours, 2 senic overlooks, a bit of washed out trail that required using cypress roots like a ladder and some precarious rocks later...I was at the bright orange marker at the top of the mountain. Which by the way is covered in a cypress forest that doesn't afford much of a view from the very top. But I took the last pic my battery would allow of the marker at the top of Kanji Kanji mountain. Anyway,,,realizing I was not going DOWN the root ladder I chose one of other 2 paths from the top.
Thats where I found the orb weavers...BIG orb weavers. At least in Mirkwood the giant spiders stay off the path, in Japan they use the path as their casting area...and my camera with a dead battery. The cypress forest was wierd. I'm from the US South so cypress means swamp, but here they grow like pine trees. Their branches are arrainged different and they have really really interesting acoustics. The light wood creaks in the breeze and sounds like the sound effect of creaking timbers in an old wooden ship.
Anyway, despite spiders and some bits of the trail being washed out, I got down without mishap (unless one counts rolling/sliding part of the way). I arrived at the station just before dark and made my way back to Narimasu where I found a cybercafe...but no USB port that will fit my oddball camera widget. I`ll post the pics later in an update.
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