Monday, July 26, 2010


The public transportation in Japan is great. Sam and I used trains and buses all throughout our time in Japan, and we never felt like we couldn't get somewhere we wanted to. At the same time, we always thought in terms of where we could go by way of public transportation and therefore didn't necessarily head toward certain off-the-beaten-path cool places.

Luckily, my friend Mayo's boyfriend had a car and a plan, so we jumped in and went on a rainy day adventure into northern Kyoto Prefecture. I managed not to puke as we wound our way through the mountains to arrive at Miyama, one of the best preserved thatched-roof villages in Japan. We ate our packed lunch of onigiri (rice balls), tsukemono (pickled veggies), and cucumbers while taking in the view of the damp village, and then wandered about marveling at the foot and a half thick roofs.

On the way back home we stopped for a soggy hike along an overflowing creek. The waterfall at the end was supposed to be the exciting part, but the narrow footbridges (actually a few logs tied together with "steps" fastened on), which were at that point barely visible above the rushing water, were much more engaging. Also, there were salamanders.

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