I originally was going to make my September post about my first experiences teaching English in Japan. But then a five day weekend called Silver Week came along and whisked me away on a string of adventures with lots of Japanese friends! So I thought I’d write about that while it’s still fresh!
First, I went on a short weekend camping trip with some Japanese friends at a nearby mountain. Mie has lots of mountains. Japan in general, actually, is pretty mountainous. The weather was beautiful! And so were the mountains, and everything on them!
Camping on the mountains wasn’t enough, though. A friend from Tokyo came to visit me, and we decided to hike up one of these things! We went to a mountain called Nyuudougatake, which was only about a kilometer high, but honestly, at times it felt like we were climbing! Thankfully there was tree cover most of the whole time. I don’t know how it is for most American mountains–nor do I really know what’s normal for Japanese mountains really : P but for this mountain at least, there weren’t any guard rails really. With the exception of a few well placed, well tied ropes as an aid for hiking up and down certain parts of the trail, the trail itself, and a little shrine at the top, the nature felt pretty undisturbed. We encountered two snakes and briefly saw a third something at some point(!?) but thankfully, we were okay! The weather was beautiful on this day, too!
Then, the weekend after Silver week, I was invited by some other Japanese friends to go to Universal Studios Japan! They told me to be ready at 6:30 AM! I suppose the Japanese play as hard as they work! I got to try out lots of different attractions with my Japanese friends, including seeing Hogwarts! Yes! For those of you who didn’t know, Hogwarts is in Japan! And they honestly did an amazing job reproducing so many different aspects of the Harry Potter world. They had the castle, they had a recreation of the Hogwarts town, with a wand shop and several other shops, they had butter beer! And according to my female friends, there was even a Myrtle ghost in the girls’ bathroom! That’s dedication if I ever saw it! (Although, since I’m not a girl, I can’t actually say I saw that last part : P but you know what I mean!)
It was a hot day, so I got the frozen version!
These were just snippets of some of the adventures I have had over the past couple weeks, but they have all been full of fun and good things! I’m thankful to have found so many Japanese friends so quickly : )