Back to Nature After Sake Overdose

Numata, Japan. After the debauchery at Gen Roku the night before, it was time to go back to the pasture a bit and enjoy the more natural treasures of the area. On Sunday morning, we set sails early. Oscar Wilde said “Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast”, so we skipped breakfast all together and bought hot coffees in a can from a street dispenser.

Hot coffee in a can! Awesomeness right there AND Tommy Lee Jones stars in many commercials as a coffee spokesperson AND an alien who looks exactly like Tommy Lee Jones (eventually he goes back to his planet BUT he misses the coffee in a can so much he returns to earth.)

Ross refueled the van. I can confirm that he does in fact have a bumper sticker that spells “Vaginas are way cool” (in case you had any doubts.) We drove towards the mountains on Route 120, the Japanese version of the German’s Romantic Road.

The red dot is where we were and I’m not sure where we were going on the map, but our final destination was Nikko. Ross promised we would stop along the way to check out some famous waterfalls.

Fukiwari no taki or Japan’s Niagara Falls in Tone Village is a shallow but a rather impressive waterfall. It was created from the stream eroding the soft monolith rock and is shaped like a banana.

You can get very close to it but if you step over the white line, Monsieur Ross lets you know in no uncertain terms that it is not safe nor allowed.

There is a pathway which allows you to walk besides the stream and it gave me ample opportunity to abuse my designated model.

Abused here,

and abused here,

Downright violated. Actually he was absorbed in contemplation here.

Going upstream, a very cool bridge

A little store sold fortunes. The tradition is to keep the good ones and tie the not so good ones to a rope to leave them behind. Walking pass all this bad fortune is probably not recommended.

The serene scenery from the bridge

After walking 10,000 miles (30,000 for me) we hopped back in the vagivan and cruised towards the next waterfalls using a very twisty road in the mountain. Each turn is designated by a different kana and we tried to memorize them BUT it is better to attempt the exercise after a full night sleep, no sake, and no beer, as I found out (after a few turns.)

We stopped at what we thought were perhaps Kegon Falls and Ross explained that since I had my camera, he would leave his in the van… then he saw all the Lotus cars and he went back to the parking lot to get his camera. Men!

We finally found the Kegon no taki which flows from Lake Chuzenji and which water plunges down 97 meters! There were bus loads of people and the observatories appeared jam-packed.

It was as fun to photograph the people taking pictures, some with their cell phones.

I do not think this one will make it to the album.

But this one might.

And voila the explanation for all my woes. A pint-size kid posing for his mom. Making the peace sign. I think the peace sign might be the equivalent of our “cheese”, and could be ingrained in the Japanese youth by well-intentioned parents before children learn how to walk.

Fish on a stick! I did not taste these. They were snacks sold at the Kegon falls and I’d rather have my fish raw and without a head or a stick. Besides, we had had plenty of Nikumans along the way.

This was just the beginning of the adventure… Back in the van and en route for Nikko (after desperately trying to find some ladies bathroom with an actual toilet instead of holes – which may be quite economical for the Japanese but absolutely irreconcilable with my deep-seated Jackie O. complex.)

15 responses to “Back to Nature After Sake Overdose

  1. HOLY CRAP! I don’t visit for a couple of days and you’ve gone MAD with pictures! My best friend is Japanese-American and has visited Japan several times. He says it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. Your pictures do it justice.

  2. You’ve got me really wanting to see Japan. Love the contemplation and bridge photos. As for the fleet of Lotuses (Loti?), I’d be right there with planetross.

  3. I dropped by Ross’s in the morning and we read this blog together (well, I think it was his 10th time). Great pictures as usual Nathalie. I look forward to each new chapter of your Japan adventures.

  4. Loved those fortunes and the depth of field that at first, made them unidentifiable.

    No better way to see a country than with someone who lives there.
    And for Ross, it must be great to see his home through your eyes and lens.

    Beautiful photos and descriptions too.

  5. Gosh this is fun. I’ve never been to Japan, have always wanted to go – but this is a fabulous second best! Looking forward to the next one…

    As for hot coffee in a can. Well, the Japanese certainly do have a reputation for being inventive.

  6. Fantastic posts and photos! It’s been a fun ride through your, umm.. “experience” in Japan.

  7. Thanks for all your comments! 😉

    Alan: I think the question should be: “Why haven’t you visited me in two days?” Being confined to the dog house will not be considered a valid excuse.

    Michael: Japan is very beautiful – and the food to die for! In regard to the lotus cars, of course, you guys are going to stick together!

    Kelly: I miss you man! Not enough posts coming from you. Wish we could all go to an izakaya tonight (with your roomie too!)… 😉

    Bonnie: Oh yeah Sir Planet Ross knows the place! Without him I was lost. Literally. I got lost. I walked a very long time.

    Epic: Japan is only a plane ride away! With all the exotic country you usually visit, I’m surprised Japan has not been one of them. You’d love the fabulous cooking!

    S. Le: I’ll give you that: my “experience” was borderline “experimentation.” With planetross, what else would you expect? Thanks for your compliments! I hope you enjoy the rest of the ride 😉

  8. Nathalie with an H, Ross has told you why I haven’t been around lately. I’m avoiding no one. I’m just running around trying to get things sorted out is all. I miss you too. We all do! Honestly!!! You are a breath of fresh air (even if you speak French – LOL) Je veux parler le francais mais mon francais est ne pas bon. HELP ME! Miss you! xo

  9. The one thing I love about your posts and photos is that you have a certain way of writing and the visual eye to draw me out of my world and into yours. Love it, glad you had a fantabularse trip!

  10. Kelly, pas de probleme! Bonne chance!

    SanityFound, thank you so much!
    Your Health Minister got the boot and was replaced by someone who does not believe garlic and beetroot cure AIDS. Things are really going down the drain in South Africa! 😉

  11. Pingback: Weekly Fruit Salad ~ Nummer siebzehn « SanityFound’s Rambling’s

  12. You tellin’ me! Just today a friend of mine and I were discussing whether we should buy surplus supplies of garlic incase the new honcho takes it totally off the market! Shock horror that thought was for us indeed. Well I suppose the real cruncher for us is the fact that she doesn’t have a criminal record for stealing or seems to be in need of a free liver… time will tell we can only hope!

  13. That sake is a real wolf in sheep’s clothing isn’t it? It seems so innocuous and friendly and then it mugs you!

    I’ve had experiences with sake that friends have told me that if I hadn’t blottoed my memory with it, I’d have died of shame.

    I’ve enjoyed the photos from this and your last couple of posts.

  14. Your photo style with the B&W ones is incredibly beautiful. I was in Japan in the late 70’s when I was at sea in the Navy. Such a beautiful place. Looks like you had a great trip. Lets hope Flat Tony enjoys it too.
    Interesting bumper sticker Ross has, I don’t think my wife would approve of one on our car though…..

  15. Razz, sake has long not been wearing any clothing. I know what’s awaiting me.
    People around me may not though! Surprise!

    Tony, thanks! I’m sure Flat Tony will enjoy Numata as much as I did. I don’t see whay your wife would not appreciate the sticker. Is hers not way cool? 😉

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