Not long ago, my friend Kei came from Yokohama, on the other side of Japan to visit. It was thrown together without much for planning, but since there is usually a little something going on every weekend, I figured that we could find something entertaining to do. Arriving on Friday night, we just came back to my house to relax. Before completely settling in for the night, we decided to go to an onsen, which is a natural hot spring. We went to the same one detailed in earlier posts, so no real news to speak of there. We showed up near closing time, so we were the only ones there. We still managed about a half hour of chat and comfort before returning to my apartment where we would have chat some more, have a drink or two, call friends and go to sleep.
The next morning, fairly early we had to go to the kindergarten performance detailed earlier.
Once we got back from that, we had some time before we planning on meeting in the city for a good time. We decided to take a drive to the top of a fairly large mountain (3150ft) about 45 minutes away. In Japan, all the mountains have names, and this one was known as Otakisan. We went out in the direction of where I did my ‘bird watching’ but I didn’t know where else to go. We stop at the information center, which was surprisingly open, even though there were no lights on. Inside was an old man and two kids. I played with the kids while Kei got the information, though my job took much longer. As I continued to play with the chillins, Kei was obliged to humor the old man and listen to all the crazy things he had to say. When it was finally time to get out of there, he was sick of listening to his “crap”. But, with out information, we headed up a 1 lane road up the side of the mountain. A missed turn would send me careening off the side of it, resulting in certain death. However, we made it to the top. There, we found what appeared to be a deserted shrine. Everything was there, the booths, the shrine, the cleansing basin, and everything else, though it was completely empty. Another noticeable difference was the temperature, about 15 degrees colder, there was even a little snow that had accumulated. At the top, we followed a trail and did a little hiking right along the border of Kagawa and Tokushima Prefectures. (Equivalent to states) After a bit of poking around and the oncoming darkness, we decided to get out of there and get ready to go home.
I was able to put a snowman together.
When we went into the city at night we met with Thomas and Ryan. We crashed a Christmas party which was alright. We had to bring gifts, which we did. During the gift exchange we all pocketed the gifts we thought were best and left soon after, though the party was basically over. From there we made our way to a bar called Amazon. Some of the people from the first group joined us, and that was fine. We hung out here, doing rounds, and playing a few games and chatting. A great game involved an alligator.
Picture of the action. The three left people joined us from the previous party, though we didn’t really know them. The glass of wine was spilled and broken twice in 5 minutes, we felt pretty cool by association.
From here the night was starting to whirl, though we were gearing up for a club. I however was getting ‘exhausted’ and wasn’t completely up for it. Me and Kei decided to sit the event out and head back to Ryan’s place where we were planning to stay. I say early, but it was going on 3:00am at this point. While waiting for Kei to snag Ryan’s keys, I did what I do and fell asleep. I’m gaining a spot of fame for my ability to sleep anywhere at the drop of a hat. The list is long and growing, but this time it was with my body ascending a staircase. Impressive, no? Once he returned, I popped right back up and then we cabbed it home. Bad news with that was that he dropped us of at the wrong place, resulting in me and Kei walking about 2km,nearing 4am. Fortunately I’ve been blessed with the ability to always get to Ryan’s in a pinch, so all was well.
Me with the soap I got from the party. Mirror makes it artsy.
The next day, we slept in which was great. Eventually we returned to my place to shower and recharge. We were going to try to go to nearby park to see some famous Christmas light displays, though we got lost and found ourselves close to Takamatsu again. From there, we decided to just get to the Christmas gathering that was happening on Sunday night. This was nothing more than chatting in a restaurant with all the foreigner teachers. It was alright, though being on a Sunday was terribly poor planning, as any desire to continue the party was squashed by the realization of work. We were able to gather some support to stop for a few minutes for a round of darts, and then it was time to go home.
The next day I had to work, so Kei was left to do as he pleased. Eventually we met for dinner once I was out of work. We just chatted and enjoyed ourselves for the remainder of the evening till it was time for him to catch the bus home. It was an easy goodbye, since we would be meeting again in only a couple weeks. Overall, great time. I was really glad that he could come out and see a bit more of where I live and what I do, as well as meet my friends. The last time Kei made it, it was only for a quick night and an early morning as we had to travel elsewhere for a concert. Somehow, a picture of the two of us was lacking.