Friday, August 31, 2012

Hokkaido Backpacking Adventures! Part II

Ha! Think you can kill me, crazy mountain storm with super powerful winds? I laugh in the face of, uh, my own very messy death. Um. Yeah.
The first half of our trip was dedicated to doing the Grand Traverse, a pretty hardcore backpacking course that hits a number of the major peaks in Daisetsuzan over a period of 4-5 days. Not being the most physically in shape people, we decided to only do about 2/3 of the route, covering all but the final day of the actual Traverse. We also made things a bit easier by using rope-ways. We camped the first night in Asahidake, then caught the rope-way up at 7am the next morning.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hokkaido Backpacking Adventures! Part I

First of all, to anyone out there who may've been following this blog, I'd like to say that no, I didn't hop on the wrong train in Tokyo's labyrinthine metro system and somehow fall off the face of the earth these past couple months. I've actually just been working a lot-- we had a special Summer School program in July that involved a lot of four hour train commutes, un-air-conditioned schools and hot, crawly kindergartners. I did do some fun things as well: I visited Disney Sea with my friend Kenna, which was awesome and I'll try and do a full post about that soon. Sadly I had to say goodbye to Kenna who has now returned to our native land, Oregon. She will be missed!

See you soon, Kenna! :'(
The other thing I did was backpack my way around Hokkaido for two weeks. If I was ever curious what it might be like to be homeless in Japan, I now have a very intimate understanding. 

My partner in dirty, park-living homelessness was my friend Anna, a fellow English-teacher from Sendai, originally from Bristol, in the UK. We spent most of our copious amounts of free time making tea in odd locations, sneakily sketching unsuspecting citizens in cafes and parks, and I slowly but inevitably began unconsciously picking up British-isms. (I still can't believe I repeatedly referred to the flashlight as a "torch"; I feel I've let America down, somehow.)