Thousands of Miles from Home


Into the Hills

Happy Thanksgiving, a little late. Its passing in japan was not widely celebrated, and even I always thought of it as the kid-brother holiday to Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years (which I consider one large holiday, given the extended break from school). I did not feast upon turkey, but instead korean-style okonomiyaki (same name as the japanese-style pizza, but this is more like a large flour pancake with meat and leeks), a delicious fish (red snapper, actually) given as a present to my host dad by one of his patients, and dumplings. I stuffed myself just as much as I do on Thanksgiving every year, so my conscience is clear. (Masatoshi, being a doctor and also surgeon, cleaned and gutted the fish with expert technique)

Before this psuedo-feast, I came home earlier than usual from school and asked Shoko to show me where the nearby hiking trial to the mountains could be found. She said she wasn't doing anything special so we ended up hiking the mountain together. I say hiking with a semi straight face because the path was paved for most of the way, then slightly narrowed into more of a footpath. Shoko said that she had not been up this particular mountain (there are two that are very close to my house, this was the easier climb of the two) in many years, but she used to come often as a child.

When we reached the summit, Shoko did not recognize many of the surroundings, but the view was amazing. The sun had slowly set as we climbed, and a full moon shone brightly in the evening sky. From the top of the mountain, which was also home to three DoCoMo telephone towers, was a great view. Looking behind, the shipyard and city of Tamano (as well as our house) could bee seen in the distance. On the opposite side of the mountain, the town of Hibi and its harbor were visible. Shoko and I took each other's picture near a dangerous looking cliff, then retreated down the mountain before it got too dark to see.


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