Someone told me that there was a prediction for snow in Tokyo this weekend, with the bleakness knob getting turned up to 11 today. To try and delude myself from the fact that I’m sitting in my poorly insulated apartment on a wintery night, I decided to reminisce about the summer that was. The summer that was much warmer.
One of the adventures last summer was climbing Mt Takao, not too far out of Tokyo. It’s very picturesque, with ancient cedar forests and temples, shrines and statues dotted throughout. You can do it in just a few hours if you’re fit, and despite that, it should give your calves a fairly decent workout on the steep ascent.
The fellow below is cooking dango, coated in a soy syrup and made from rice pounded into a rubbery consistency (similar to mochi). Mochi is often eaten at New Year’s and is slightly infamous for being the cause of a few choking fatalities each year. So, it’s a pretty extreme snack, is what I’m saying.
I don’t know exactly what the masks below are, but I would guess they are oni, demons in Japanese folklore. There’s a saying in Japanese, “Oni with an iron club”, which means you are invincible, powerful or the like. So, rather than being evil, it means you are kind of a bad ass.
A kind lady at work called me this one day to encourage me as I was struggling through a conversation. I didn’t know the expression and so could only surmise that she was calling me a devil. Unaware of the heinous act I had apparently committed, I was left more confused than normal (and that’s saying a lot).
Shrines on mountains don’t clean themselves:
After all this, it turns out that looking at photos of warm locations doesn’t actually make you warmer, just as I feared. The light at the end of the tunnel, though, is some time back in Australia for Christmas – from 0 degrees to 30 overnight.
That technology allows us to do this is brilliant. It will be great to be home, and I’m looking forward to melting as I step foot off the plane.