Monday, June 26, 2006
Crazy Weekend in the Cave!
Well, this has been a completely hectic weekend packed with nothing but fun.
As I have very little time now, I'm only going to describe my Saturday for the moment.
On Saturday, I went spelunking into a somewhat touristy, but nonetheless interesting cave. My friends Jake, Erika, Ami, and Kenji all came along. Our first stop was the hyakuen (100 yen, like a dollar store) and bought flashlights and glowsticks. Then Kenji drove us way out into the country where this cave is, and we each paid 1200 yen to get in. Unfortunately, the cave was far too wet to bring my camera inside. The first half of the cave was very touristy, with stairs, platforms and interpretive signs. However, about third of a kilometer in, you come to the good stuff!
We waded in our sandals through freezing water while making our way up this stream. Lots of boulders, tunnels. There was one section that was about 15 meters where we were on our hands and knees in the water, crawling up this thing. Several times we had to pause, because our companion Jake, was uncomfortably wide for the journey, and struggled to pull himself through some squeezes.
After an hour and a half, we finished the cave, which was maybe a kilometer as one walks, though less as the bird flies. Anyways, it was a very good time. We never did get lost, but I don't think the cave was big enough for that anyways. It was definitely the WETTEST cave I've ever been in. All the caves in Arizona (fond memories of the Lava Tubes) I've been in were dry as a bone.
After this, we came across the most curious restaurant, which serves some kind of soba noodles. They serve cold noodles that slide down this long half pipe and you have to retrieve it as it comes floating down the stream of water. See pictures. Unfortunately, I don't recall what this was called at the moment, but I will be sure to ask. It was lots of fun.
Tomorrow, I hope to enthrall everyone with a description of the whimsical mountaintop shrine of Yamadera and my visit to the Nikka Whiskey Distillery