One Man Walking

2008-06-12 On parade

June 12th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I feel like I’ve met a lot of Sakata today. Or rather they have heard of me. As Masami showed me around Haguro-san and its pleasant forest walk to a 600+ year old pagoda he spoke to quite a few people about me and my adventure. I’m still not good enough to understand everything that is said but I recognise the words I use like Sata, walk and 27. People here really find age fascinating. At some point I’ll try telling people I’m 32 or 21 and see if the Ohhhs and Ahhhs change at all.

Through family connections we were allowed in to Kaikoji Temple where two priests are preserved as mummies. They prepared themselves for this by a strict diet and being buried 3m underground before death allowing their bodies to loose as much moisture as possible. The plan was to become mummies and thus gods to “help future peoples avoid suffering”.

Haguri-san's five story pagoda in the woods 

We continued the tour of Sakata taking in the rice warehouse by the river, an old samurai house and one of a shipping agent with a helpful English pamphlet.

Tonight there was a BBQ in Masami’s driveway. No-one was here yet so I took a walk around the block (to find free internet) and when I returned there were 20 people already sitting down and eating. The Japanese sure are punctual. I was asked to introduce myself in front of everyone but I’d told my story enough times and I just wanted to be me, so I stuck to the basics of name and location. I should have included my age because that was the first question. Then I got handed a beer which I did my best to ignore and stuck to water. I’ve been so busy sight-seeing on this town stop I haven’t had time to stock up on food. It’s the Japanese custom to keep filling a glass, even after just a sip, which must make it hard to know how much you’ve drunk. Even with a full glass people offered me more.

After the eating was over seven of us drove to town to a bar called “Night in Lover”. I’d been told there were lots of girls in town but hadn’t worked out they meant the girls that work there. It’s just a hostess bar, where the ladies sit and talk with you, keep the conversation and drinks flowing and make sure everyone is happy (i.e. spending money), thank goodness I talked my way out of karaoke!

Inside the hostess bar 

Word of the day: an-zen an = safe

hiking  ·  photo

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Peter A // Jun 17, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Thank goodness for them right?

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