Saturday, March 2, 2013
THE SNOW MONKEYS! The snow monkeys are at the top of my BEST OF JAPAN list right now. This might have been my favorite winter weekend ever, which coincided nicely with the almost 1,000 papers that I have had to grade for finals in the past two weeks.
I am SO glad that I got my butt out of bed and took a 6:03 a.m. train for the hour-long trek to Keith’s house in order to join in on the epic snow monkey road trip to Nagano.
I just….I could see the snow monkeys a few more times before I leave. It was monkey magic. They are right there beside you and cuter than you could imagine. And I pictured them to be pretty darn cute.
After tearing myself away from monkey paradise, we went to lunch at this tiny little hole-in-the-wall restaurant which served killllller homemade soba noodles and soba tea (which I bought).
Then we headed to a sake brewery, followed by an onsen, followed by a late dinner at that amazing pizza place that I had last week.
(A street cat followed me all the way to the sake brewery, so I stopped and rubbed its belly. Just the friendliest little thing and with a striped tail! I wanted to take it back to Takaoka….)
Sunday, March 3, 2013
I woke up early to go on this snowshoeing trip with some other teachers near Mt. Tateyama (but not Mt. Tateyama…..I’m not sure where we actually were?) Anyway. I have been snowshoeing quite often in Vermont, but never EVER have I had cheese fondue at a table made of snow. Please. These Japanese outdoors folks know how to throw it down in the woods. I found my people.