I apologize for not updating in a while, but i have been in the middle of midterms and presentations and the likes. But with all of that now behind me i can now effectively update you on the happenings of my life.
Most recently, last night AP House (my dorm) hosted an event called "EARTH Hour." I was asked along with 2 other people to perform for the small concert that was going on. All this past week we were practicing for the event and of course when the time came nothing worked. The amps weren't turning on, microphones weren't working, and people were getting restless waiting for the event to start. In the end we made it into an acoustic set and it ended up being ok.
Since the weather has been getting nicer here, i have been spending more time outside, mainly on the beach downtown. We have been into making bonfires on the beach and roasting marshmallows and gyozas and sausages. It always is a good time and its a nice way to relax. Last night, I was fortunate enough to stay up long enough on the beach to watch the sunrise. It was truly majestic. I was forced to take mental images, because a camera couldn't capture what i was seeing (even though i tried). It was incredible to watch the sun literally slowly rise seemingly from out of the ocean and into the sky.
Furthermore, me and the "Hiking Crew" have been adventurous and exploring the surrounding area. We eventually decided to climb to the top of the mountain where we have been exploring. It is the 2nd tallest mountain in the area and ended up being a very formidable challenge. On the way up we stayed together and encountered snakes and other wildlife as we searched for a "passable" trail to the top. We walked along the base for about 30 minutes before deciding to split up and take different routes. Half of us went up the forest side, and my half went up the face of the mountain. We found a small trail that led to the base of the one of the steepest hills I've ever encountered. The walk up was miserable. We would walk for 2 minutes and then rest for 5. It didn't ever seem like we were making any progress and was really depressing, not to mention the sun beating down on our backs (which led to me getting severely sunburned). The last stretch of the hike up was the hardest but once we reached the top it was immediately clear how worth it it was. The view was amazing, and i wish i knew exactly how high we had climbed. But we could see for miles. After hanging out on the summit for a while, recovering from the hike, we realize there was some sort of road that led to the top that we overlooked. Which made us all feel like idiots.
As is natural, we got bored and decided to explore some more. We walk down a little bit then decide to bush whack down the other side of the mountain in hopes that it would lead us to the onsen below. We could not have been more wrong. We ended up taking the most perilous way down the mountain, stepping over fallen trees and going through thorns, avoiding hornets whose venom melts the flesh of human skin. When we got to the bottom we realized there was no where else to go, and had to make our way UP the mountain again, this time through the thick of the forest. We all kinda took our own route up, and even though we were in the shade it was unbearably hot. I ended up in some tall grass, and eventually came across a boar's nest (it was either that or a deer's bed, but boar sounds cooler). In it i found an antler which was pretty cool. We finally reach the top AGAIN, and make our way back down AGAIN this time following that road we found which evidently lead us right to the onsen. I thought it was funny how throughout the day, my definition of "passable" got broader and broader to a point where i didn't even consider if there was a place to put my feet. We hung in the onsen for a while and were able to relax and i could nurse my sunburn in the cold one. Again, relaxing and enjoying the little things about Japan that make it so great.
As a result of this hike, my legs were all scratched up, i had to throw away the pair of socks i wore that day and i had to wash my shoes, which ended up taking about 2-3 days. But overall worth it, and the fact that i have been able to really enjoy the great outdoors since i have gotten here is really making me appreciate some of the great things Beppu has to offer.
Until Next Time,