Cats and Dogs and Monkeys


Woke up from a restful sleep after the evening spa. Headed out for a hike through the forest. Tremendous rainfall greeted us in the late morning, but we were not deterred. A brief stop for nice umbrellas at a souvenir stand and we were good to go.

By mid-day the rain had cleared up and we made a pleasant day of it. Several times I suggested a desire to swim in ponds and rivers, but Japanese people never take me seriously on this. First I find that many people don’t swim, then I find that cold water is not really considered refreshing.

Outside Hirayu (平湯) there is a special hot spring just for feet. Even on a blazing hot day, the average Japanese person would rather soak their feet in there than in a stream. I had a lengthy discussion one day with my Japanese teacher explaining the concept of “wading” and she could not come up with a word in Japanese. From the discussion it seems that culturally it doesn’t fit. I am a strong believer in language reflecting (historic) culture; when I find something lacking in English or Japanese, I assume there’s a reason.

Takayama area is known by their symbol, Sarubobo, a red monkey with a black scarf and clothes. I didn’t see any monkeys, but I’m told they are around.


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