Monday, July 24, 2006

happenings of late

I was cleaning out my desk last night, preparing some my my bags to come back home in about 2 weeks. Tears came to my eyes as I read over HUSTEP orientation schedules I received at the beginning of my life here. I looked over all the brochures I have collected from my travels around Japan. Travels with friends and images and memories that still remain in my mind as if we just returned from the temple in Kyoto or Shibuya in Tokyo. Hmmmmm...it's going to be a hard parting.



But it's not over yet...the fun times continue to roll on. For three Saturday nights in a row in July, all across Japan, they hold a fireworks festival. The best part about it is that most of the girls who go dress up in a yukata, which is like a kimono made of cotton. So, my friends and I all wore our colorful yukatas, rode the packed subway to the riverside and joined the few thousand other people watching. We bought some bento (Japanese fast food, but healthy!) and beer had a great time watching the 45 show in the perfect summer night weather. What a wonderful night!


Yesterday was planned to be my last hike with my club yakaku...I was looking forward to the hike because it's a really pretty one, but despite waking up at 4:30, renting a car and driving 1.5 hours out of the city, we got to the trailhead and it was sprinkling. It's against the club rules to hike if there is any kind of precipitation (even though everyone must carry rain gear), so we had to turn around and drive back.

We stopped here on the way back...doesn't it remind you of Oneota Gorge?
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But, once we got into the city, it got sunny again, so we decided to go to the beach. I didn't bring my swimming suit, but there was so way I wasn't going in the water, so I just went in my t-shirt and shorts. We made a sand kingdom and relaxed in the sun. Then, we went to an onsen (Japanese bath) which you could see the ocean from while soaking in the steaming water. And to top it all off, we ate sushi in Otaru, one of the most famous places in Hokkaido for sushi. You can get full on the best quality sushi for 7 bucks! I am going to miss this place!
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