Saturday, February 11, 2012

Snow areas

The plan yesterday was to go for a drive and stay til evening at at hot spa. We are getting so brave with the GPS in Tetsu's car!

Years ago I read on someone's blog that she was scared of bridges and went out of her way to avoid driving over them. Getting to the spa I thought of her as the new road pierced the mountains and spanned gorges. I also thought of my mother who is claustrophobic. She absolutely hates tunnels but in Japan they are unavoidable because the terrain is so mountainous. The road yesterday was so new it didn't even register on our used GPS!

"Tetsu, according to the GPS we just disappeared into blackness."

It made it all more of an adventure.

Once at the spa town we found it much snowier than we had expected. The community had set up snowmen in front of their shops and the Japanese inns had ice "stone" lanterns in front of their gates.

A favorite with the many tourists were the "Kamakura" which are Japanese snow houses, and children (and yours truly) ran in and out of them. Some were even equipped with specially made tatami mats and rigged for a barbecue lunch right inside! There were areas for sledding and outdoor booths served steamed potatoes drenched in butter and skewered chicken pieces. Yum!

Tetsu and I decided not to stay until evening because the roads were already icy and cars were slipping. Going back through the mountains on icy roads did not sound like fun! (But probably better with the tunnels and bridges than going around twisty mountainous curves...)

We made a long stop at a hot spa so that Tetsu could get his hot spa fix, and I enjoyed reading my Kindle and looking at the beautiful scenery.

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