These legs were made for walking and this blog was made for writing about it. Okaa-san and I were supposed to go on a hike together this past Thursday, if y’all remember. Only we didn’t get to because of the false rain. No such folly today! We had to rush a bit, but we made it to the Eizan Rail in time to get to a group hike, even if we were a bit late. We made it to Kibuneguchi Station shortly after and the hike began. Apparently this was an organized event that happens every so often, which is good to know – hopefully other places in Japan also have these types of hikes.
We started off from the station, so there was an actual a road that soon enough morphed into a little town with a bunch of cute shops and traditional dining setups. So many places had platforms over the river with traditional tatami mat floors and cushion seats at low tables. They were all crazy expensive, but if you’re willing to splurge once/find one slightly cheaper place I’m willing to bet that it’s worth it. Past more of those shops was the main feature of the town, Kifune Jinja. The shrine of a water god, this jinja was absolutely beautiful and packed, with a set of gorgeous horse statues, a lot of omamori and a large, beautiful structure where you pray. That line was too long, but I did get my goshuin and bought myself a good luck omamori in the form of a blue and gold bell. Very satisfied! I wanted to pray there since I’m such a water gal, but alas, I wasn’t waiting, so I paid my respects solo and in my head plus, ya know, a picture. Then it was time to really get going, so we did.
After the jinja the path became much less busy and slowly turned from heavily-marked asphalt to a much simpler road with a lot more nature. We passed a woodcutting place and then it was really into the woods from there. It was nice because there were loads of trail markers they’d put up just for this group, and a guide waiting to mark down that all of us had dragged our bottoms to where we were supposed to be. We made it solo most of the way to the peak, then finally saw some other people form the group when it was our pitstop for lunch. We had soup and inarizushi and kaki (persimmon), but I wasn’t really hungry so I kinda skimped out on lunch. I surprise even myself sometimes.
Then we headed down and eventually got lost, which had okaa-san hella worried but eventually we (and by that I mean she) figured it out and we met back up with the trail, magically. It was fun though, because during most of the hike, and particularly when we were lost, okaa-san and I did a lot of bonding. I found out she’s chill with the gays (yay!) and (hopefully) debunked her theory that if/when everyone goes gay, the scientists will be able to control the population with in-vitro fertilizations or straight people just bangin’ it up. She is so entertaining sometimes I can’t take it. She also told me how her and otou-san were (still are) married for convenience – good money, good background, time to get hitched cause of society – and how they both regret it. She was a playa in her day, a fact which she seemed adorably proud of and I loved it. She said she hated omiai, which is a traditional practice of the parent-puppeteered blind date that hopefully turns into something. She never did them, but when I told her how Hubbard-sensei also hated them but did it for a new dress + free dinner she was hella impressed. “So clever” was her response. Clever indeed my friend; I wish I could have that setup going for me. But, on the plus side for her, otou-san and her have a pretty good set-up going as housemates, and she didn’t leave out the fact that “she supports him now, so he ain’t leaving” (I paraphrase, people). Oh, how the sass is real. There was a lot more convo going down, but all I want to take away from it is how awesome and full of personality okaa-san is. Woman can throw some shade!
Oh, and to address the title of this post: yama girl, also written as yama gaaru or 山ガール means ‘mountain girl’. Apparently hiking kind of became an aesthetic thing for Japanese girls a few years ago, and they got their own name. Now there are a bunch of specially-styled fashionable women’s hiking clothing out there, special attention on pink stuff. It’s basically hella cute and hella stylin’, and I’m guessing most chicks who’re into this are just into it for the photos, but who am I to judge? It is cute. Okaa-san called herself yama obaa-chan, which is basically mountain auntie/grams, but said I was a true yama gaaru. I mean I’ll take it 😉 And now, huge photo gallery, commence!
We just made the train back without having to wait, so here’s a shot of us post-hike and homebound.
Dinner tonight was my choice, so I went with sashimi and hijiki. There were also fish eggs, those pink blobs on the right, but their texture was something I did not agree with at all. It’s okay though, because the sake and tako was to die for, and the hijiki was also pretty grand. Afterwards we ate the wagashi I made yesterday, along with matcha tea, sado style. Which means okaa-san and I put on our fancy pants and tea-partied it up yo. We went for two tries, partially cause okaa-san was feeling the matcha and partially cause I wanted 2 rounds of practice with a pro. Both times were super great and reminded me of the first time I drank matcha fancily at the moon-viewing festival, only this time I knew what I was saying (as part of the ceremony of it). What a great day!
One of my most favorite days ever.