Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Onsen Mishaps

nother day, another onsen misadventure.

But whereas last time I was walked in on by 2 little girls, this time I walked in on an older lady.

In my defense, I had been to this onsen before but they switched the rooms' genders in between visits. Had I paid attention to the signs, I would've realized that something was amiss, but instead, I figured my experience was as good an indicator as any. Boy was I wrong.

Fortunately, I didn't see nor show anything. I first went into the (un)dressing room's bathroom and then came out to to see an elderly lady just before she started stripping. Thank God.

We stared at each other, jaws dropped from the shock, for what felt like an eternity before I started profusely apologizing. I swear that hentai was at the tip of her tongue but my confusion must've looked authentic because she regained her composure and then pointed me in the direction of the men's onsen.

Close call.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Japanese Honesty

This unmanned produce stand sits on the side of a busy road about 20km from where I live. The owners keep it stocked with fresh crops and depend on the honesty of passerby's to pay for whatever they take and not steal whatever money has accumulated.

I'm not sure how long this would last in most parts of the world. But bless Japan for it being able to survive here.

Surprise, we can sing!

Sometimes things just catch you by surprise. Yesterday, during the school culture festival, I was walking near a boy's bathroom when I caught the faint sound of singing. Investigating further, I opened the door to find 5 ninensei (11th grade) members of the baseball team standing in a semi-circle.

They looked up at me, startled, and slightly frightened.

I looked at each of them and then asked "Did I just hear singing in here?"


"Were you singing?"

One of them started grinning.

"Ah! Please, continue! dozo!"

They looked at each other, said some things in Japanese, and then began on what was one of the best acapella performances I have ever heard! They some minor bass, altos, sopranos and the pitcher was even doing a little beat-boxing. They killed it!

As I picked my jaw off the ground and regretted not being able to record it, I was reminded of this Lean on Me moment.

No doubt, I was just as surprised as Morgan Freeman was. But sometimes--especially in cases like these--I really like surprises.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Morikaze Cafe

Morikaze is a famous nature school especially known for its ecological and environmental education programmes. Located in Kuzumaki, they've been featured in magazines and people have come from all over Japan and the world to visit. In addition to the school, they also have a cafe that stays open to the public. A friend took me there for lunch this past weekend.

Morikaze Cafe - Homegrown food in a homegrown building

Furniture built from scratch

Outdoor barbecue area

The whole place was cool but this was my favorite part

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ballroom Dancing with Old(er) Japanese People

I joined a friend at a local "dance party" on Monday without really knowing what was going on. As it turns out, it was an annual social dance party and had enthusiasts from as far as Sapporo. Even though I was about 25 years younger than the average party-goer, it still ended up being a ton of fun:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Morning mist in Kuzumaki, Japan

It looked a lot better in person than through my cell phone's digital camera

Monday, October 5, 2009