Skip to main content

Rainy Days

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.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. How is Tokyo's climate? Are thre any snowy months like canada?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  

Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

For the Glory of Sake

For the Glory of Sake

Couldn't help but notice the snarky remark the Japanese guy made sitting next to me on my left.  " like Japanese sake.   This is a Japanese drink.  I like I like" he chided in Japanese English.  He attempted to rest his hand on my balls, but I slapped it away.  "No shit, then why are you drinking two fingers Jack-n-Coke" I retorted.   
I was requested to come and have a sit and drink lesson by the owner of the bar, who in turn introduced me to this drunk S.O.B.  And for a nominal fee I had to grit and bear the sickness of sitting next to a stinky salary man with a Black penis fetish for several hours while appearing like I was having the time of my life.  I didn't want to ruin it for my Jukujo matron and patron, so I behaved.  
I haven't been to a Japanese shrine in a while, but whenever I go I always pray and thank the Gods for the Japanese Jukujo.  I thank them for delivering me from the scourge of silly little she-men w…