Today we took it a little easier. Nick and I were both tired, Nick is getting sick with a cold or something and my legs and ankle are killing me! I can't believe how much my body has aged in the last 5 or so years! What is with that? Could it be that my doctor is right? That I need to exercise on a regular basis? Could I possibly be that out of shape! LOL I think it is time to make a New Years resolution to exercise!
We started our Christmas morning with bacon and eggs which I fixed in our hotel room. I love this hotel room. It makes such a difference to have a kitchen. After breakfast we made our plans for the day. Nick and I would have been content with sitting around here, but not Dan the Man, now known as Mr. Travel Agent. He has spent a lot of time on the internet reading, researching, plotting and planning our time. Mr. Travel thought it would be nice to get out of the city and see some rural parts of the country so he convinced Nick to take us for a drive.
Dan the Man usually sits in the back seat when ever we go anywhere, but since he has turned into Mr. Travel, he got assigned shotgun. I learned that it wasn't near as scary in the back seat! Mr. Travel learned it was terrifying to sit in the front! After a few wrong turns, we finally were leaving the confines of the city and were venturing down a road that wasn't so congested. We could actually see hills and actual houses versus skyscrapers and apartment buildings. Oh this was nice!
Mr. Travel was taking us to a "vacation spot" or "resort" kind of place called "Seoto-no-Yu" at Akigawa Valley. It was a place that had hiking trails and hot springs. Soon the landscape turned to heavily forested hills that reminded me of being in Colorado, like on the way to Estes Park. Only instead of just pine trees, there were cedar, fir, deciduous trees, ferns, palms, citrus trees, bamboo lots of other things that I don't know what are. Remember I grew up in western Nebraska where we had elm and cottonwood trees and that was about it! Oh, and lilacs! These hillsides must be breath taking in the fall when all the leaves are changing color. There still were a lot of people, narrow roads and buildings. When we got to the springs, there were some building and signs, but absolutely nothing written in English. So we had no idea what the buildings were, which ones we should go into and which one's we shouldn't! It was obviously the off-season and not too many people were even there.
There seemed to be several "cabins" that perhaps you could rent and stay in. There was also a building that we went into, but there didn't seem to be anyone at the "information desk". We guessed that this place contained baths for the hot springs. Across the way from that building was another that housed a gift shop that had several different things in it from food, flowers, hand crafted item to trinkets. Looked like all the stuff offered were from the locals. There were little signs of the producers or craftsmen next to each item.
There was a footbath outside of these buildings with warm water, from the springs, and little benches you could sit on. Nick wanted to stick his feet in, but we didn't know if we were allowed to, so we didn't. We found a trail to hike which led us down to a river. There appeared to be more cabins down there, but they looked like they were only occupied in the summer time. It really smelled good there, typical forest smell, can't ever get enough of that smell.
After exploring we decided to go back to the base and take naps. After napping it was time for dinner so Nick took us to a Japanese place that kind of reminded me of a cafe. They had menus for English speaking people. I had pork curry and Mr. Travel had some chicken dish he can't remember what it was, but it had seaweed on it and we've decided we really don't care for it, the seaweed that is. So, Mr. Travel wasn't too impressed with his dinner. The whole seaweed thing reminds us of our chicken feed since we add kelp to it! LOL! I'm not sure what Nick had. Nick and Mr. Travel are pretty good with the chop stick thing, but I can't seem to figure it out.
Defiantly not our traditional Christmas dinner. Most certainly not our typical Christmas day. Actually it was so out of the ordinary, it didn't even feel like Christmas. If I had my choice as to spending Christmas in Japan, or spending it in Nebraska with my family, Nebraska would win hands down! I am thankful we did get to spend Christmas with Nick though and definitely don't have any regrets!
After dinner it was back to the base and back to our hotel room. Mr. Travel got on the internet to do some more sightseeing research and I watched (was resting my eyes, okay, I slept though most) of the movie "Bride Wars."
Vegetables growing along the side of the road
More vegetables along side the road
Dan the Man thinks we need one of these little cars to go to town in.
Chris, we found this car for you. They must have had this shipped from the states.
Front gate into some one's house.
This is beginning to become a welcoming sight after a long day
of sight seeing in a very foreign land!
Well, it's time for me to sign off. Hope you are enjoying this adventure. If you are reading this, please let me know by leaving a comment. You don't have to "sign-in" to leave a comment. Just click where it says "comment" at the end of each post. Type your comment in the box and include your name within your comment. Click the down arrow and choose "Anonymous" and click on the "post comment" box! Thanks and I hope each and everyone of you had a special Christmas!
PS someone from home please drop us a note about the weather back there!