Day trip to 奥多摩 (Okutama)

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Today I went on a day trip to Okutama, a small town in the westernmost part of Tokyo prefecture, together with Yusuke. We could take public transportation to get there; from my station it cost 890 yen. Yusuke joined at his station. (We had agreed to go in the first car, but I messed up and told him on Line to join me in car 6 instead.) From the station we continued by bus (340 yen) up to Lake Okutama, which is a huge dam built in 1938.

In Japan they call it  紅葉/kouyou when the leaves of the trees are getting red in the autumn. The kouyou in Okutama had barely just begun.

We walked for maybe 15 km during the day. The first 10 were especially hard since we had forgotten to bring food and drinks, and the path was totally isolated and without much people; we didn’t meet a single person during the first 5 km or so. At one point we tried to drink from a little creek, but the water didn’t taste good so we decided to avoid it. We also saw a poisonous snake. And I got spider web in my face (that was probably the worst part).

When we finally reached a “visitor center” we had mochi, the traditional rice cake that is usually only eaten for New Year’s. Just like with my first mochi experience, the dough was prepared in the traditional way. We walked for some more and then took the bus back to the station, where we tried to find an onsen. But they were all either full or had closed for the day for visitors who don’t stay the night. So we went back to Tachikawa, and after some taiko gaming we went to the same sauna as last time. A funny thing with Japanese sauna is that there’s always a tv in the sauna. Yes, in the 90 degree sauna. So we sat there and watched baseball while sweating.

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PS: As for the baseball, I don’t understand a single bit of that sport. For me, it’s all like:

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