Friday, September 23, 2005

今日は休みです!Kyou wa yasumi desu! Today is a holiday!

red leavesAnd being a holiday, I took it easy. I had planned on going to Hakodate this weekend for another HAJET sponsored welcome party, but after looking into how much it would cost to get there and back, I decided to stay closer to home.

I slept in, made a nice breakfast (including real coffee!) and went out to Sounkyo to see the fall colours. It wasn't very busy because everyone else had taken a look at the weather report. It was misty and rainy and chilly. I met my friend Mayumi who works in Sounkyo, and she took the rest of the aftertnoon off to go up the ropeway with me. The ropeway is a gondola that runs halfway up Mt. Kurodake every 20 minutes. You then take a chairlift to the seventh stage of the climb, and make your way to the summit from there. The rain and cold, not to mention the complete lack of view thanks to the rain (ame) and mist (kiri) forced us back early. But I took lots of pictures anyway. The leaves are in transition, and the area is really beautiful. With all the shades of green and red and orange and gold you can imagine, it really lives up to the Ainu name of "playground of the gods".

After freezing our way back dowm the ropeway, Mayumi and I stopped for a big hot bowl of ramen, and then I went to the onsen for a good soak. An excellent way to spend a day off.

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