This is going to be a big post! Oh boy. Buti have to type quickly because internet access in Osaka is expensive! A lot has happened to me in the past few days, so i hope youre ready for action and adventure, because this may turn into a novel…
It all started my last morning in Kujukuri, had a fabulous easy-goin breakfast and a few hours later i was running through a station with Auyoko and her cute little heels clicking infront of me, up the escalator as fast as we could, quick hug and i was on the Shinkansen 30 seconds before it sped off toward Kanazawa!! It was the coolest thing ever, and little Auyoko waved at me from the platform in her cute piggy tails!
So on the train to Kanazawa i sat next to the sweetest little Japanese woman. When i sat down i offered her one of the delicious cheesecakes that Auyoko gave to me. From that point on we spent the train ride sharing photos, lunch, and few words… She was so sweet! Before she got off the train she gave me a bag full of tangerine hard candies that would later come in handy.
The Shinkansen is incredible; its superfast and amazingly smooth. I rode it across Japan, through mountains and valleys painted every shade of green, past lakes… I watched a blood red sunset sink beneath the dark silhouettes of towering green pine trees… The mountains here are stunning. Theyre placed across the land in the same way that wrinkles are in a bed sheet; folding, towering, rumpled, random patterns of mountains. And the rice fields below them are the part of the bed sheet that someone smoothed with their hand; flat, velvety and just as beautiful.
It made me think: I’m not sure i could miss Sonoma being here. I am in heaven.
Once in Kanazawa, i found the platform for bus 90 and waited and waited and waaaaaited, but NO BUS. Finally when it got dark i got help from a couple of older Japanese women (i always go for the nice older women, even though they always say the young people speak english… the young people just kind of intimidate me dont know why) So the women got me a taxi and after some communication problems with the driver, we wound our way into the hills of Kanazawa up and up and up and finally to my Hostel!
The nice man at the counter said ”AH, Erika-san!” when i walked in, dont know how he knew it was me… It was late and i was tired so i went to bed. It was nice because there was no one else in my room so i got some real privacy for the first time since i’ve been here; the first thing i did was take all my clothes off. Thats one thing i missed, for some reason! Haha, if you think im wierd i dont care, just telling it like it is: I love being naked. So i sat and watched Armagedon in Japanese and ate the giant Japanese pear/apple that Uchiyama gave to me for my trip, naked. It was fabulous.
So the next morning i woke up later than i normally do and got ready quickly and started walking down from the mountains. I thought i would just walk down the road, but i discovered this little trail and so i just took it, since it was the one less traveled and all… (robert frost?) ha. Anyway, my theory served me right because it was a crest train down the from on the mountains and IT WAS STUNNING. I think i walked though a few bamboo forests and pine groves before i found a shrine, a magnificent shrine in the middle of no where! A little man was sweeping the steps with a straw broom and there was insense burning and i was basically in heaven. Especially when i saw that there were about 200 steps leading down from the shrine. Seriously, it was so beautiful… it looked like the steps from Kill Bill, you you want imagery.
That afternoon i wandered around the Kanazawa Castle and gardens (ranked 3rd in all of Japan!) I went to find a place to sit and eat lunch, and it was about 4 o clock and after some more wandering about I wanted to start heading back to the Hostel. The sun was setting and a group of english speaking Japanese school girls told me the way. Actually, they told me the Sai River was the Asano… they misinformed me! Remembering that to walk back i had to first walk up the river, i took off. I walked and i walked and i walked and it got dark and WOW it got so dark because there was no moon and no lights next to the river and i stupidly kept walking thinking that it didnt seem right, but that it was too late to turn back because i still wasnt sure and there hadnt been any shops for a while. I sang to myself in the dark to keep myself happy because it was so cold, too and i was on the verge of a breakdown! everytime the tears would come i’d talk myself out of it with things like ”why are you going to cry? Whats so bad? Are you scared? ‘No. I’m no scared.’ So put a smile on, keep singing and you’ll make it!” That was my conversation to myself. Music and tangerine hard candies kept me from losing hope, and they kept my blood sugar up too. Thats important.
So finally I saw a shopping center and i found a book store and inlisted a cozy looking Japanese boy to be my helper…poor guy. I said ”tasukete! taxi onegai shimasu!” And he wanted to wait for the taxi with me and basically he watched me relentlessly and repeatedly try to keep myself contained… I sniffled a lot and tears would periodically leap from my tear glands, but i did it. Thank you who ever you are cozy-looking, friendly boy.
So the taxi driver saw me tears, he thought i was here on business for some reason. I managed to say i was here on holiday and he said ”oh oh oh … why you cry then?!” I told him i was lost and i said thanks for saving me Mr. Taxi Man.
When i got to the you th hostel the man at the front desk said ”Erika-san, where have you been!” and he told me he kept the water in the bath piping hot for me. So i showered and soaked and then went to bed and in the morning i got right up and took off for Osaka, which is where i am now! On the tenth floor of a nice building, thats the youth hostel. .
Kanazawa was a beautiful place though! Very nice people, amazing artwork everywhere, but its not built for a lil’ dummy like me 😉
I’ll add a ton of pictures tomorrow! So cute.
And on the train to Osaka, i realized that i’ve found my calling. Japan is it! Im confident, so when i get back im learning Japanese and im going to get a job at a Japanese restaurant and im going to do everything i can to come back and….. stay.