- - - 4/28/2012 - - -

River BBQ

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:38 am

My futsal team held a Spring BBQ at a mountain river campsite. We had great weather and lots of food. The river was extremely cold, but I still wanted to go for a swim.

Our BBQ site.

The local friendly cat.

A short hike to the waterfall.

Campfire Curry.

I swam to the other side and sat there for a while before having the courage to swim back.

- - - 4/22/2012 - - -

Haruna Lake and Ikaho

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:58 am

The next day we went a bit further north to Lake Haruna and Ikaho Onsen. Unfortunately, it was very foggy (and cold) and we did not get to see the beautiful sights of the lake. Still, we took a long stroll around the lake in the fog. Occasionally it would clear up a bit and we could see the many many fishermen that were out trying their luck. We then headed to Ikaho Onsen for some fun and relaxation. Ikaho Onsen is one of Gunma’s famous Onsen areas because of the stairs that go up through the town to the onsen. On both sides of the stairs are old fashioned shops, ryokans, and game arcades.

This was the view of the lake most of the time.

At Ikaho!

Eating manjyu at an old fashioned sweets shop.

I got some practice in at the archery range.

Japanese style shooting range.

Ninja star throwing.

Time to relax at the onsen.

On the train back we ate the famous Takasaki Daruma Bento.

- - - 4/21/2012 - - -

Native American (Sadish) live

Filed under: — Andy @ 4:08 am

We went all the way out to Takasaki to see a live performance of another friends new fiance, a Native American flutist/storyteller. It was a lot more interesting that I was expecting it to be. He had many collaborations with various other performers, and the stories that he told were very entertaining.

Daruma Temple, Takasaki

Filed under: — Andy @ 3:01 am

My friend and I went to go visit Takasaki, Gunma. The main purpose was to go see a small event/live by a Native American flutist/storyteller, and a friend who recently got engaged to said Native American. However, first some sightseeing in Takasaki… which there isn’t much of, so we went to Shorinzan Daruma Temple, which is famous for: Daruma.

- - - 4/20/2012 - - -

Tofu cuisine with friends

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:00 am

Some friends that I met hiking when I was back in the states recently got married and took a trip to Japan. When they arrived in Tokyo I took them out for some delicious Japanese Tofu cuisine and had a great time talking and catching up.

- - - 4/15/2012 - - -

Watane Market

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:54 am

One of my friends invited me to a very small outdoor festival/market. With an emphasis on natural food and items and almost a hippie atmosphere, there were various bands, foods, and booths where you could try making some items with your own hands. I spent the entire afternoon carving my own spoon, making my own hemp bracelet, eating some good foods, and listening to different varieties of music.

Someone was also playing the didgeridoo

My handmade spoon before and after shots.

Delicious lunch set

Making your own threads

My hemp bracelet.

- - - 4/8/2012 - - -

Mt. Zukou cherry blossoms

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:39 pm

This month’s hiking trip was to Mt. Zukou, a measly 300 meters high. Of course the purpose of this month’s hike was more to see the cherry blossoms. Along the way we stopped at Lake Shinko, which was supposedly formed a long time ago by a large earthquake.

Mt. Oyama is on the right.


- - - 4/1/2012 - - -

Mitsuike Park

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:26 pm

It was still a week before most of the Sakura come out, but my my friend and I still went around to see what was in bloom. We went to Mitsuike (Three Ponds) Park, a fairly famous park in the Yokohama area for Sakura. Most of the trees had still not bloomed, but the ones that did early were very nice.