So – I spent majority of today on the bus traveling all over Japan! The first place we went today was the famous Mt. Fuji! This is one of Japan’s main attractions. The bus ride there was filled with huge mountains and little towns at the bases of them. It was truly a sight to see!
When we arrived, it was all dark and cloudy. All of us were very upset that we couldn’t see the top of Mt. Fuji. But, us being tourist, we found other things to keep us entertained. Steph, Venessa, and Leslie all road horses. Once they were done, Venessa, Steph and I all walked around and took some pictures, and went to the gift shops. I walked around and found the cutest cup in all of Japan (well in my opinion). It even has the mountain painted on the side!
It was almost time to leave when all of a sudden I looked up and noticed some holes in the clouds. I was so excited I started to take pictures as the mountain started to clear. And then all of a sudden, all the clouds were gone and there it was Mt. Fuji! Just there in its massive glory! I cannot describe to you what it was like to be there and to see such a beautiful sight. Not even the pictures I took will bring justice. Soon after the clouds rolled back in and it was gone in a matter of seconds.
We left and were headed to Lake Kawaguchiko for Lunch. Once we were there, I was again in aw. The lake was surrounded by mountains for miles. It was a such a beautiful sight. We ate in a little restaurant that served a very unique meal. There were several plates with very different food objects on it. The one thing that caught my attention was the bowl of noodles and soup that was being heated in front of our eyes. It was like a witches cauldron with a little burner under it, but small. The food was very good. Once I was done I headed outside to take a few more pictures before we headed for our 3 hour bus ride to Midori-no Mura.
Like I said before, the ride was amazing, due to seeing all the mountain. It was like looking at a Hawaii paradise, or the scene of Jurassic Park. We stopped halfway at a rest area to stretch, get a drink, and use the bathroom. One thing to note is that the rest areas over hear are so beautiful, they are a work of art in themselves. I went over to a pond, and all of a sudden a bunch of Koi fish swam right up to me. I expected that they wanted food, but I only took their pictures.
After the rest of the bus ride, we arrived at Midori-no Mura! We had to take off our shoes and we don’t get them back unless we leave the resort. We went to our room and it is so cool. It is the woven mats with two sitting size high tables. We are sleeping on mats tonight. This place is suppose to be a traditional housing feel. No sooner than we walked in, almost all of the guys (including ourselves) went to the bath house/hot spring.
Note: This next part my be somewhat awkward, but I assure you it is tradition.
This is how a hot spring works. You go into a changing room, you take off all of your cloths and yes, I mean ALL OF YOUR CLOTHES. You take a wash cloth over to a shower station. You get a stool and sit on it. You then take a normal shower, next to the other guys, with no walls or anything. You shower and clean your body, once you have done this, you are allowed into the spring. Our spring had an indoor and an outdoor option. We all started in the indoor but quickly moved to the outdoor. Once outside, the air was slightly cool, so it felt good to be in hot water. We had a nice view of a mountain area. We all talked a bit and relaxed. After you are done, you go rinse your body and then dry yourself off. You put back on your cloths and leave.
I will say it was very very hard to be exposed like that and to just walk around with being so exposed. I almost didn’t do it. Looking back, we are all guys and we all have our insecurities, and I am glad I did it. I was also proud of myself for overcoming something that I have hidden for so long. I am more proud of myself for doing something because its culture, and not doing it because I am scared of judgment.
After that we all came back and chilled out for a bit. I also had the unfortunate luck of my camera dying and no one has a charger. I am here for tomorrow and then Ill be able to buy a charger or something. By the time that we were done getting situated, it was time to eat. Some of Technos and our student prepared salad, rice and meat. We also got a little bottle that reminded me of five hour energy. It was like a cross between milk and yogurt. One of the Technos students told me that it was to cleanse the body. And boy did it. After well… you know… I felt very uplifting. I felt relaxed and in tune with my body.
After we were done eating, we hung out for a bit before orientation. The told us about using the bath, how to wear a Yukata, and making our beds. The Technos students asked for volunteers and Will and I both raised our hands. It is funny cause we both wore our shits that we bought from last night, and now we were going to twin again. Once that was done I headed back to the room, and I made my bed. I am currently laying on it typing to you! Today will be hard to top, best day ever? Maybe best day so far?
Till next time!!!