Saturday, January 10, 2009

I love monkeys!

Yesterday I met a girl named Tomoko for lunch.

She took me to a great soba restaurant. Yamagata is famous for delicious soba and I finally got to have some. It was indeed super delicious. The restaurant owner was so nice and friendly to me and gave us extra sides and free dessert. I love kindly restaurant owners in Japan, they always remind me of how great and generous people can be here to foreigners.

Suddenly, Tomoko suggested we drive to Ginzan Onsen in Obanazawa. It was already afternoon so we wouldn't be able to go into the hot springs without staying for the night, but she just wanted to drive there. That made me really happy. I love spontaneous road trips so much. And I had just given her a mix cd, so we had great music for driving, haha.

Ginzan Onsen is really famous all over Japan. TV dramas and commercials have been filmed there. It's full of old buildings and it's beautiful in the winter. It was very quiet when we got there at dusk, and very cold. Even though we didn't go into the hot springs, we felt so relaxed by the peaceful street, the smell of sulphur and the big clouds of steam rising out of the ashiyu.

To get to this waterfall, we had to cross a narrow, snowy footbridge across the river. It was scary and fun. I was sure if anyone fell in it would be me.

I love onsen, especially in rural Japan. Ginzan Onsen was just as beautiful and charming as everyone says and I'll probably return there soon to actually enter the hot springs.

Here's a real picture of snow monkeys chillin in an onsen in Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan.

It's part of a national park famous for a large population of Japanese Macaques. When the snow monkeys get cold in the winter, they come down and hang out in the hot springs all day, then go back into the forest at night. God that's fucking awesome!


Seasick Sarah said...

OMG I fucking love it! That town looks magical and those monkeys fucking rock the boat! I love this post!

chie-ppa said...

I finally find your blog here!
You are good at taking pictures. I love this blog very much. YOu should take me to the onsen in feb for sure. road trip with you and a coconut guy. hummm. I will feel so weird.

anyways I have gotten a mail from "coconut_guy@....something" and it said " DO YOU NEED A FUCK BODY? FREE TRIAL HERE!" see? You know what I meant?

chie-ppa said...

No I ve mistaken a spell! FUCK BUDDY, right?
gomen beth

Beth said...

chie -

i can't even believe you about that email, it's too perfectly funny to be true.

i doubt i will find my gyaruo love by february, which is too bad, because if i could go to ginzan onsen with you, aya, and a coconut guy, it would be one of the greatest days of my life.

also, free trial for a fuck buddy? how the hell does that work???? hahaha

Beth said...

sarah -

when you come visit me we should go to the monkey place!

aya said...

Oh! I didn't know I was going to Yamagata in Feb! Yatta!

Last night I got a small crush on someone. Damn! 3 more weeks here! Too late! I wish I could stay here longer,
BUT! Beautiful pictures!
Onsen encourages me to move back to Japan!

Beth said...

aya -

haha, surprise! i guess chie decided. :)

you know yamagata is famous for onsen so let's definitely do that when you come! actually zao onsen is like 15 minutes from my house.

Whitney said...

dude, PRETTY! those monkeys are da bomb. also, scary about the bridge thing!!! i probably would have given myself a heart attack.

Anonymous said...

loved the chillin monkeys picts
great pict
thank you