Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Backpacking Japan in 2006

I just noticed all my recent posts are about USA... and do not really like that! ;)
So... time for some old stories!!

This one is one of the best old stories ever. I think I promised to talk about it a long time ago... ok, so now it is the time!

After my internship in the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), I met my ISU friends in Tokyo with the objective of traveling as South as possible in one week. No real plans beyond that! That's why it was so cool!! It was a trip in which almost everything was decided in the spur of the moment! :)

In Tokyo, I met Paolo, Mic and his brother, Mic's Japanese friend and Havard. We went out all night, partying in Roppongi and went to Shinjuku in the morning to buy bus tickets to go to climb Fuji-san, the most important mountain in Japan (actually it is kind of the symbol of the country... right?). This is the photo taken in Shinjuku bus station with all of us.

Finally, only Havard and I actually went! Everybody was tired and they decided to stay in Tokyo area for a bit longer. Anyway, we two started our great journey by climbing mount Fuji from Station 5, in Kawaguchiko. That climb was hard and I think I have already talked about it some time before. However, it was so amazing that I don't mind posting the same photos twice! That was a hell of a climb!! There is a Japanese popular saying that goes like: "If you have never climbed Fujisan, you are a fool. If you have climbed it twice... you are fooler!" ;)

Next photo is Havard and me during the climb in the middle of the night.

Finally, we made it to the summit in time for the sun rise. I will never forget that sun rise; one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen... and after the effort, it felt much better!!!

An unprocessed panorama photo of the volcano crater.

And us two in the summit! So happy and satisfied!!

The way downhill was the hardest... we knew we were done there but still had around 6-7 hours walking before getting to Station 5 and we had not slept in the last 2 nights!!

The trip south continued and the next stop was Himeji. Himeji is famous for its castle, one of the most beautiful in Japan. A really cool place!!

Then, we crossed by train to Shikoku, just to say we had been in two islands of Japan ;) and continued South towards Hiroshima.

In Hiroshima, the highlight was of course the atomic bomb memorial peace park and museum. It is really scary that the whole city center is a huge park... and the view of the A-dome, the famous landmark that resisted the atomic bomb explosion is kind of horrifying... The museum is really good, but at some times it is really sad and even creepy... The thing I liked a lot is the way the whole thing about the atomic bombs is handled. In the museum, it is constantly asked not to have bad feelings towards USA and it is said that this experience should teach us no nation should do this again. Much better than the US traditional approach of retaliation no matter what...

And Havard and me with the castle in Hiroshima.

Finally, the last stop and one of the best was Miyajima, where we could see the famous torii in the middle of the sea! We got lucky and went there when the tide was just perfect!! ;)

After that, I came back to Tokyo to take my flight to Europe and Havard turned back and headed North to Kyoto.

Nice memories!!

1 comment:

Havard said...

Very nice memories indeed.