Thursday, June 7, 2012

Umezu no taki

I was recommended to check out some waterfalls about an hour from base. It is known as a good place to go swimming. Although it is still very cold, we decided to check it out.

After a short walk we found the top of the falls.

Then we walked down to the lower falls that opened up to a large blue hole.

It was only about 70 degrees outside and the water was very cold. I didn't brave the cold, but Dustin stripped down to his undies and dove in. It was crystal clear water.

The sign below was by the swimming hole. It has seen better days, but still made me laugh.


After his polar-bear dip!
 Once we had explored the falls we decided to follow an overgrown road. It followed the creek for a while then we came across an old bridge.

Up the ridge

Old Bridge
After carefully crossing the bridge we couldn't even tell where the road was. After taking ten steps and hitting ten spider webs we decided to turn around. Remember how I mentioned the spiders were big in Japan? We decided not to have them on us anymore!

The drive home took us through some small mountain villages. Here they have already planted the rice. By hand, each piece. The Japanese call this time hanataue or rice planting. There are festivals celebrating a traditional folk ritual of prayers to the Shinto rice god. We didn't attend any of the festivals this weekend, but seeing all the fields and knowing all the labor that goes into it was pretty amazing.

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