Thursday, December 3, 2009

Japan! Hot Springs, Bullet Train, Kobe

         Six am comes quickly. Molly steals away down the stairs and comes back with a horrified look on her face, “she’s locked us in!’ Who is this lady?
         I sigh and we line up by the window. It is scarier going the other way. But we all make it across to the ledge and to the road. We walk towards town. As we cross a hanging bridge I breathe the air in, it is so fresh and crisp- it makes me smile. We eat our 7/11 Japanese traditional breakfast near Lake Akashi, one of Mt. Fuji's Five Lakes. We take a small bus up to the Yessuen Hot Springs. We look like bums sleeping in the lobby as we wait for the other half of our group. There are complaints that we are loitering. Our group shows and we spend the morning bathing in baths of red wine, sake, coffee, and green tea. Outside, Barry and I are reminded of Wisconsin Dells- in the cold mountain air we race down water slides. We try to get the Japanese kids to play with us, but they are frightened. My favorite bath was the Dead Sea bath, there was so much salt in it that you floated just by sitting in it.
        We took the Shinkansen (The Bullet Train!) to Kobe. Taking a bus would be a journey of 16 hours, and it took us only 3 hours!
       In Kobe, we went out for sushi to celebrate Megan’s birthday. We found this very small sushi bar. I ordered every type of eel that was on the menu and then sea urchin just to be adventurous. The eel (unagi) was delicious! The sea urchin (uni sushi) tasted like poison. I tried to wash it down with sake and almost died. Sake is officially my least favorite drink and sea urchin shouldn’t even be considered a food.

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