How do you spend them?
Living in Japan has given me a greater appreciation for all kinds of weather, even rainy days which I used to loathe when I was in the States, now I love. But how about global warming and how that's affecting weather patterns all over the world? Here in Japan we are all feeling it, unlike in some parts of North America where many have enjoyed unseasonably warm winters. We here in Japan are dealing with an unseasonably rainy and cold spring, and our cherry blossoms are feeling it too. Meteorologist have had to face challenges over when and where the best time is to view the blossoms.
I was supposed to be heading up to the third most beautiful sakura viewing spots in Japan, Takada Park in Niigata Prefecture, for cherry blossom viewing, but had to struggle just to keep up-to-date on the weather forecast. My new Niigata Jukujo nurse was up there expecting me after work, but couldn't give me an accurate prediction on the weather, so I used social media. I use twitter as my official weather gauge; just text whomever is up where I'm headed, then tag a keyword - real time update. All of the reports had 57% chance of showers. 57%? I can ride my bike without any protective gear and not worry about getting soaked down here in Yokohama, but Niigata...? I wasn't going to allow this to dampen my spirit, so I headed up to Echigo Yuzawa in southern Niigata instead. Maybe I could wait it out there to see what was going to happen. Didn't see how forking out an extra fifty bucks to continue to Niigata, besides, I had to be at work the next day.
Remember, the Max Toki is a double decker Shinkansen, the only one of its kind in the world. The second floor non-reserved seating do not have arms rests and do not recline; only first floor seats have and do that. Shinkansen still do not have Wifi, but luckily my router still worked great. Checked the Nasdaq, not so great. Typical average.
Swiped over to my tunes and eased back into my chair. I was going to have a great day, in spite of the shitty weather forecast!
Arrived in Niigata and found myself in this open air bath. Don't remember how I got there. I remember. Takada Park was rained out, so no fireworks this cherry blossom season and no dinner with the Jukujo. So.... I soaked my sadness away on this rooftop bath with some coooold sake! Soft flooooral scented sake and hot rooftop baths are the best, especially when you're overlooking Kawabata's famous snoooow country.
It's late April and spring hasn't arrived yet.
I have gout in my right toe and the only way it gets better is when I'm in the hot tub - good excuse. I sat alone and in silence for twenty minutes while pondering the views along the Echizen Mountains. The air was clean and crisp and cold. The onsen itself had a sweet calcium smell the wafted all around me, absorbing me. I could feel the blood corpuscles expanding as blood flowed through my veins and arteries, even joints. All fatigue went away within minutes. I could hear the ticking of my own heart in between my own breathes and through my neck.
Then suddenly the door from behind me slides open and I am awakened from heaven. Two gentlemen come stumbling in and into the water. I greet and say good bye all in the same breath 'cause I never stick around for long chats in a bath.
The best food in the world is ice cold hegisoba! And I mean it. Hegisoba should be soaked in ICE water before being served and curled on the plate. It is heaven on a plate with cold sake. Of course there are those who would disagree with me. And I understand, but then I am not you, and that's another reason why I would travel this far just to eat hegisoba - Tokyoite
I chose to bring my own meals to the hotel. I love to eat alone. Hate dining with others. People ruin food when they chatter about stupid shit. I worship food and wish to devote all of my attention to it. Take this bento for example. The string on the side attaches to a heating element at the bottom of the lunch box. You pull the string out and wait for 15 minutes. I headed down to the tub again for another great soak.
While soaking I was putting together some thoughts in my head about the seasons, my next post. I submersed myself for a second or two, holding my breath. Splashed water on my face about 10 times after I came back up. Massages my head. Got out and went back to my room where a hot bento was there waiting for me to enjoy. Enjoyed it I did. Reached over and grabbed the iPhone and checked emails. An "I love you from my Jukujo" and some other mails. I slept so good afterwards. My room was so warm a quiet you could hear church mouse pee on a cotton ball. That is quite quiet if you ask me.
No better way to spend a rainy day. The sake write up here on my new site
Coooold saaaakke, hooot ooonsen, delicious fooood, deep ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
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