Trip Start Sep 25, 2002
40Trip End May 15, 2004
Actually, it wasn't too bad because we got futons and a heater and were able to take a shower (with the biggest, scariest spider in the world I might add). So, we crash out, get up, pack up and head off for an early morning hike. Now, of course, its STILL raining, but we hike to the other side of the mountain and find this small temple surrounded by flowers and cherry blossoms with a magnificent view of the mountains and small town. Though it was raining it was pretty great...I think the rain kept people inside more than usual and Mike and I found ourselves sitting on the temple steps, looking out over fields of flowers, cherry blossoms, and misty clouds rolling through the pink and white and green covered hills of Yoshino. We decided to consume our bountiful breakfast of ritz-like crackers and cheesecake pastries here!
Being that we had such an early start we were able to see all that we wanted and be finished with Yoshino fairly early, so after hiking around and breaking my digital camera, we hopped a train and headed for the ancient city of Asuka!
Asuka-mura is a very old town filled with ancient temples, mausoleums, tumulus', and museums. All of this is based around a hillside farming community where the best means of transportation is bicycle. So Mike and I rented to mamasan old school bikes and headed off into the countryside. I'm not exactly sure why, but this was one of my most enjoyable and memorable experiences so far. Just freely riding around through rice fields and stopping at all these ancient sites was great. Both of us totally felt like 10 year old kids exploring the neighborhood...we had energy to burn and didn't have a care in the world as we biked from this place to that place!! Sadly, as stated earlier, the old digital camera gave out on me at Yoshino so I have no pics of Asuka-mura to share, but it was still a fantastic way to end a great few days in Japan!