Kiso

We arrived on the night of the 13th on Kiso, going to have our first couch surfing experience. We checked the pictures of our host, he looked like a cool and funny guy (dressed like a ninja on his profile photo) so let’s give it a try! The morning after we arrived he invited us to his job: manager of a camping site.

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The entrance of the camping.
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The unfinished threehouse Shin is building
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The camping shop had many references of Ghibli films (They make brilliant animation movies, go watch them quickly if you don't know them). The two goats on the photo where wandering around the camping shop.
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View of the pond on the camp site.
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Shin gave us a folder with a hiking route starting at the camp site. Also he gave us a little bell: to scare away bears... yikes. At this photo Sanne looks still confident.
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15 minutes into the walk we came across many bear scratches on the wall. We guessed the bear had dug for ants around here.
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After seeing this, we got really scared. Also, we kept hearing "bear noises"
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The woods where really beautiful, but we could not really appreciate it as we where hurrying away.
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Finally we got to the road again, really relieved. Continuing on the road we could see many little streams coming the mountains, like this one.
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We reached the observatory looking out over the Kiso valley and various mountain tops.
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Although Shin told us to go back the same route, we really wouldn't dare going back into bear territory and followed the road down next to this stream.
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Back on the camping site petting the indisturbable chicken
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Shin back from his job, cutting a bunch of threes.

After this hike of a few hours, Shin took us to a ramen restaurant for a noodle soup. He surprised us, as he had many other interesting things for us scheduled.

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First we went for origami lessons. Both Sanne and me where total beginners, barely able to make a simple paper plane.
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In the end we were able to make cranes, frogs and a toll. Not bad.
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The origami teacher made thousands of cranes for the spirits of the victims of the Fukushima disaster.
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She made many beautiful origami. This Totoro, also from studio Ghibli, we found very cute.
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Us and the teacher.

After the origami lesson, Shin took us to his monk friend, which lived with his family in a nearby temple. We had a tour through the temple and garden, had a little thee ceremony drinking macha (green powder thee, its very delicious) with the family and even got some presents, a small dish each.

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The temple we visited.
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After the temple visit we went to take a look in the town. We visited an old trading post, a little temple, saw some old houses and also these interesting overhanging houses.
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Back at Shins home, takoyaki dinner party!
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Shin, the takoyaki master! Normally takoyaki are balls with octopus inside. Shin puts in anything he likes, cheese, sausages, ... ninja style!
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It's so yummy!
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Shin also taught us how to make origami ninja stars. It's a big secret, we can never tell anyone how to do it. Else he has to kill us with his katana.

The next day, we hiked the traditional route from Tsumago to Magome, two old postal towns. More about this in the next post. When we were back at Shins place we invited him for dinner. He knew an Izakaya where we could go…

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The cook made us all kind of delicious things, like toriyaki (like satΓ© from chicken, but much much more delicious). Here he is preparing a peper challenge for us.
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We enjoyed the hot sake. It's very different when it's warm.
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We had a lot of fun πŸ™‚
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The conversation with the two old sake drinking guys at the other side of the bar was hilarious. But you had to be there to appreciate it.
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After dinner we went to a karaoke bar. Shin beat the cap out of us and showed us incredible Japanese rap skills.

We really had an amazing time staying at Shins place. We will certainly remember this as the best experience we had in Japan. Thank you so much, Shin!

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6 thoughts on “Kiso

  1. Hoi Araldo en Sanne,

    dat Japan van jullie ziet er geweldig uit! Zijn jullie al in een Dojo geweest om de martial arts eens te bekijken (is 1 van mijn judo dromen)? En die beren, heb je ze nog van een veilig afstandje gezien, of andere dieren (je weet wel waarom πŸ™‚ ?

    Super veel plezier daar, groetjes, Erik en Monica

    Like

    1. Araldo

      Hoi Erik en Monica,
      Wij hebben niet zoveel met martial arts, dus nee, dat hebben we niet gezien. Erg veel dieren hebben we ook niet gezien, behalve veel insecten (veel vlinders, in het stuk over Fuji staan er wat, en libelles) en vogels. Maar dat is allemaal moeilijk te fotograferen met de compactcamera’s die we meehebben. En heel veel tamme bambi’s in Nara.

      Groeten,
      Araldo & Sanne

      Like

  2. Greet

    ik wacht elke keer expres een week voordat ik jullie blog weer bekijk en lees, geniet ervan πŸ™‚ blijf posten en leuke yeksten erbij zetten! groetjes en huggs and kisses πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Like

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