jeudi 27 novembre 2008

Japan - Catching Up

Hello everybody ! It's been ages since we sent you an email and we really apologies for our great laziness. For some of you, it's been years since our last mail exchange...

Last year October, Milena and I arrived in Japan for a year of studies of that complicated language. We finished our courses last September and started a trip around japan. October has seen us going from Tokyo to Hokkaido and back. Since early November we started the south bound trip part to Kyushu. Hitchhiking everyday, and pitching up our tent around 5pm every night when the sky is already dark, we changed completely our life style to get closer to the sun's rhythm.

Hokkaido was beautiful but cold, even in October. We had to cancel the 5 days trek we wanted to hike because snow already reached 2 meters at some spots. We got to the northernmost place in Japan called Soya Cape, where the sky is so blue, you think your looking a windows' wallpaper ! And over there, in the close distance, the Russia islands, inviting you to come with the first ferry leaving... but we didn't go (visa are a headache, and the ferry is kind of expensive). On our way back to Honshu and Tokyo, we stopped and met some Japanese friends who took us to some beautiful onsen areas !

2 weeks ago, we left again Tokyo, to first reach Izu peninsula, where you can find beautiful white sand's beaches. After a very uncomfortable night on the sand, we started to go up towards the mountains, to mount Fuji. Reflecting its image in the several lakes around we had a very good and cold time, spending hours to catch the few glimpse of rays from the sun reading books or listening to music on the shore.

We finally got back to the cold in Matsumoto and Takayama, where the valleys are beautifully colored with red and yellow leaves, and where the rivers are more green than blue. In Osaka, we got back under a proper roof in some fellows couchsurfers' home ! Osaka is one, if not the, craziest city in Japan. Almost never sleeping, you can have a drink at any hours of the day or night. The river splitting the night bar's neighborhood is glimmering with the fluorescent lights of hundreds of ads hung on the buildings around.

In Shikoku, the countryside is stronger and you can loose yourself in some quite wild places (scarce in Japan), Iya valley being the best example of all. We are now at Matsuyama, heading to Kyushu, the last of the four main islands of Japan we want to visit.

We are planning to get back to France in mid December. We won't stop to travel, but we'll take a short break. We are quite eager to see you again! Give us some news!!!
You can watch our pics and videos at our website !!! Please take a look ;)