Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Weekend Drive

This week is Golden Week in Japan with beads of holidays strung together. Friday was the Showa emperor's birthday, Tuesday is the Japanese Constitution Day, Wednesday is Greenery Day and Thursday will be Boy's Day. I need to bring out my Boy's Day wall hanging today.

So yesterday Tetsu and I went out for a "drive". This loose term means that we get in the car, stop at a convenience store for snacks and cold tea, get on a highway and drive until we find something interesting or want to come home. It is Tetsu's favorite way of going somewhere because then I can't accuse him of "getting lost". No purpose to begin with so we are never lost (of course we often don't know where we are either.)

Off we went up past the waterfalls of Nikko and the beautiful lake. Too many tourists there so we didn't even stop to take pictures. Up into the mountains where we could look down on the lake and marvel that there is still snow.

At one of the gimicky gift shops where we took a rest stop, there were samples of the wares... pickles, crackers and grasshoppers!! You can often find candied grasshoppers in the local gift shops and I've wanted to take a picture but was hesitant of whipping out my camera. But samples? Okay. I'll try your grasshopper if you'll let me take a picture.

Grotesque little thing isn't he? One, two, three... Crunch, crunch, swallow. Not bad... Not bad... Sweet. Crunchy. If you get past the grasshopper part it could be called delicious. Tetsu asked if I wanted to buy a bag but, no thank you. I can't see me popping grasshoppers in my mouth while I watch TV.

Drive, drive, read the signs, drive. Okay. Let's follow the sign that says Skunk Cabbage. And we ended up in a lovely wooded area that was protecting a whole meadow of Skunk Cabbage. (The Japanese name is much more poetic.)

Not so many people out yet, the woods were damp and water ran freely through the meadow.

Walking a little ways was a small village run soba shop serving soba noodles and wild vegetable tempura.

Even the tea glasses had skunk cabbage on them. The village people are very proud of their meadow.

Same trip back in reverse and we never once got "lost"!

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