Monthly Archives: June 2008

English

Fuji-san hiking

Few days ago we went to hiking to Fuji-san. Until last moment it was not sure were we going there – or we are using plan B because of the weather conditions.
Two big busses were waiting for us – and class leaders started counting their classes and boarding the busses. I counted mine – and it was like – 2 out of 6 people were present. My group was last to board the bus…
Inside was… hmmm… interesting… Only thing that was missing was disco ball. It had lights in all possible colors and in the middle row there were some things like glass chandeliers… don’t ask…
Our tour guide introduced to us – she doesn’t speak English except “yes”, “no” and two more words – that’s what she told. I was surprised that a lot of things that she told during the trip I actually understood. I guess that I am getting better at this Japanese stuff.
After first pause in front of some store to buy things to eat and drink – and just to have a rest – we had some original Japanese fun time. If you thought karaoke – yup – you are right. Our tour guide took two microphones and wanted to plug them into the bus sound system. Plugs are in the compartment above peoples heads… and well… she kind of had a height problem… so I helped a bit ; ) System was installed in no time – and now we only needed volunteers to break ice. Well that was actually Elvis Presley with his song “Love me tender” – and next volunteer, erm… volunteers were Beatles – and after them – I don’t remember.
On the way to the Fuji san there is an amusement park, and if I remember correctly what somebody told me, there is a highest in the world roller coaster. Daily pass is something like 30-40 USD – I am definitely going there – and also I have to go to Disneyland – my inner child wants to go there badly.
After arriving to Fuji Visitor Center we had first of a lot of collective photographs and proceeded to the center to get as much as possible information about the mountain. Actually there were pamphlets in English also. One of the interesting things were some facts – like the oldest man who climbed the Fuji san mountain was around 104 years old when he did it, the first lady who did it was disguised as a male because it was forbidden for females to go on the mountain and I forgot the name of first foreigner who did it – he made Japanese very angry by doing it because Fuji san was considered (or is still?) sacred mountain and it wasn’t meant for foreigners (gaijin’s).
After leaving the center we went to the fifth level – at around 2000m to see the mountain – for a short hike around. But because of the weather conditions we actually didn’t see anything and binoculars that I bought specially because of this opportunity were useless. Ok we did see some lava stones, a bit of nature but that is everything we saw on our hiking. But I am not too sad – on 1st of August I am going to climb the mountain – to the top – with some friends from one university club (I am not telling you which one ; ) ) It is around 3500 meters, and it is Japan’s highest mountain – volcano. I just hope it will not activate while I am climbing it…

After the pause for lunch we headed for some other hiking somewhere else – I have no idea where we were – but it was near some ice cave and we also went inside. I was reading a warning about watching your head and 5 seconds later – BANG! I realized why they were warning me… ceilings can be really low – and on some places we almost had to crawl trough – but it was worth it. Cave was nice – but slippery and with lot of ice. I captured few views from it – and you can check it out in gallery – but there is much more to see than on those photographs.

There was a thing that I wanted to do so I asked a driver of a bus for permission – and of course I got it. I sat in front of the driving wheel and posed for some pictures. In fact much more pictures than I expected because I turned out to be tourist attraction and a lot of people started taking photos of me. One thing I was asked to do it – and I already knew that I have to do it because I saw it from the driver – is that I have to take of my shoes before entering the drivers place. And since I didn’t notice any other shoes in the cabin – I guess they are driving barefoot… Did I tell you that I managed to ask for permission to sit there in Japanese – not in English ; )

He took us back home – with someone singing on karaoke again ; ) Next time I am definitely taking part in karaoke.

Two days ago rain season officially started so I am sad a bit because of that – but what can I do… It just means that we will have a bit more rain in next 40 days (I wonder how is it possible to be more raining compared to last month…). We were also warned that it will be very humid from now on and to watch out on the food – it will become bad very fast. So we have to avoid keeping it too long out of fridge or we risk food-poisoning. And since our health insurance covers only 70% of the bills – we should really be careful. I don’t know how much are those 30% and I do not intend on finding out that.

Until next time – see you! I’m going to study now…