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.
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.)