Friday, July 19, 2013

On holiday, and camping in Japan

Today’s coffee: coffee roasted by the pastor of our previous church (what a multi-talented guy!) and brewed at home by me.

We’re on holiday. We spent a week on a couple of islands off the northern tip of Hokkaido, but now we’re having a “staycation” week. The week away was really fun, but planning it was kind of stressful… so we really needed some restful time at home. Today we went for a picnic and walk in a nearby park; now we’re hanging out in the living room watching sumo on TV. Then we’ll probably watch a movie or something later.

Today's picnic bento
We went to Yurigahara koen (the "lily park") at just the right time!
Red dragonfly perched on a red lily
I posted earlier this week about camp cooking. As you can see, we went camping—our first Japanese camping experience. And it was quite different than our experience camping in the US. There were no individual sites, just an open field and communal dish washing facilities (which are very convenient, I might add). No showers—why bother when there are onsen nearby?

Our campsite on Rebun
The biggest difference, however, was the people. The first night, other than the two of us, all of the other campers were men traveling alone, some carrying their gear on motorcycles or bicycles. They went to bed early—I heard one guy snoring away in his tent at about 7:00 p.m. There were no late night guitar solos or campfires or drunken parties like in American campgrounds. Well… we had a campfire. It was in our “grill.” But no one else did.

Why was everyone so quiet and well-behaved? My theory is that if you don’t go to bed early, you’ll be pretty tired still when the sun comes up at 3:30 a.m. You won’t want to get up when it gets too hot to stay in the tent (in the open field—no shade!) at 6:00 a.m.  But it’s too hot, so up you get. There you have it.

If I get really ambitious, there may be a post about the hiking we did on our trip sometime in the next few days… but only if I feel like it. I’m on holiday, after all. :)

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