Going to the Top

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Awoke to a clear and rather hot day; although, much cooler than the lowlands. Drove to Shinhotaka (新穂高) and rode the tram to the top of the mountain. The gondola was a two-story vehicle. I really wanted to stand in the second floor, but didn’t get the chance. The air was refreshing and the views were pleasant.

Stopped a few places on the way back home. One stop was Gujou-Hachiman (郡上八幡), two nice little towns wedged into a river valley. They had a shop selling model foods which are placed outside many restaurants, but are becoming popular souvenirs, especially with foreigners. Outside town hall there was a video camera which I think was on the net. I didn’t have time to read all the explanation, but I stood on the mark and smiled for the camera. We spent the most time on a bridge twelve meters above the river. Kids were jumping from the bridge into the water below. I do a lot of physically daring things, but I get scared jumping into water from more than three meters. Silly, I know.

Our path took us through the mid-point of Japan which is marked with a giant wood carving. My host insisted it was a giant phallus.  Better still, we passed by Mino (美濃) and Seki (関). These are both places I plan to visit, so it was nice to become generally aware of their position. Mino is the site of traditional paper making. Seki is famous for blades (like Spyderco knives) and has sword making demonstrations.

Awesome trip. Very tired.

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