The Adventures of Gimpy Girl

A journal of the trials and triumphs of another trip to unexplored territory.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Japan in the snow!

Cold Days...

Saturday morning Donald and I set off for a cooking class. He lives near the subway so we were able to make it across town quickly. We learned something important about the subways by talking to the attendant (with Donald's translation). I had been doing an evil kneival maneuver getting on and off the trains to cross rhe 3 or 4 inch gap and similar height difference. I would get a running start and gun it...but if you go up to the front car the conductor will put out a little ramp. Not as much excitement but what the heck. So far all the stations have been well furnished with elevators, so we haven't had too much trouble getting around.

The cooking class was fun. They were very excited to have foreigners in the class and split Donald and I into different groups for cultural exchange. We made a sushi rice dish, clam soup and canola greens with mustard sauce. Afterwards everybody said something about themselves. Donald got up and told everybody about his upcoming show and passed out flyers. He told about his singing and the 'underground' music. (Underground was about the only word I picked out from what he was saying in Japanese.) They wanted him to sing but he had to explain that he doesn't really do solos in the tradional way. By the time we got home rain had turned to snow flurries.

Me trying to julienne eggs

Donald making more refined cuts

A completed meal

Yesterday we awoke to more bitter cold temperatures and little snow flakes. We decided to see the Rokoun-ji Temple or Golden Pavillion. We attempted to take the bus and after a discussion with the man at the information desk we were told that the bus we wanted was hours away. We waited a while by treating ourselves to mister donut but eventually decided to see how my scooter batteries would hold up. We made it there in about 30 minutes and did I mention in was cold? We got to see the temple as the snow fell down. It was very beautiful. For our trip back we thought we would try the bus again. We had noticed that many of them had a handicap symbol and large doors on the side so we suspected that the very rare buses we had been told to take were not the only option. We waited for about twenty minutes while freezing under some pretty serious snow and a bus finally arrived with the handicap sign. We rang the bell on the side but were ignored as the bus filled up. We still don't know if we were left because there wasn't room or because he couldn't accomodate the scooter.


At this point were really cold but started the treck back. When we saw a bath house we went for it. Luckily they provided everything we needed. What a wonderful feeling! There was a washing area, and hot tubs, picturesque outdoor hot and cold tubs, a sauna and something totally different: eletric water. It's a combination we've been told to fear and it is freaky enough that I did not spend much time in it even though it did give me an energy boost. Donald was next door experimenting with it but since I couldn't read japanese for all I knew it was a mistake. Next time maybe I'll be more daring.

We ended our adventure stoppping in a tiny ramen shop. The ramen was excellent, but without a translator it might have been tricky to order. I feel lucky to experience the places only locals go with my own personal translator.

Ja Mata Ne!


At 12:33 AM, Blogger Tryntjeblue said...

Hey Wendy your blog thing is super cool I love the sort of live photo feeling about really feels like I am right there with you and it is really cool seeing Donald too I love the snowy temple
it looks like you're having a blast give my best to DTN


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