At 9am on Monday I’d normally be waking up for a day of work on the farm. Fortunately, due to the massive recovery wake from this weekend’s festivities I arose for something entirely different. Jake let Adam and I have the day off so we could attend a vegetarian BBQ in the nearby town of Kofu. The only difficulty was that we had to find a way there. It was way too far to consider walking, and everybody else from the café with a car was still recuperating.
Luckily, the people who invited us, Marcel and Chris were kind enough to drive the two hour round trip to pick us up. The only catch was that Marcel drives a typical Japanese miniaturized pick up truck and we would have to ride in the back. Speeding around in the cab of one of these coffins on wheels is a terrifying experience by itself, but “surfing” in the back of one through the winding curves of the mountains is an absolute adrenaline rush!!
After an hour of windblown hair and a few choice rest stops, we arrived at a terraced rice farm on a mountainside and were graciously welcomed in by the owners. They picked leaves off of the nearby trees and fried them up tempura style as an appetizer. After a grand feast of delectable vegetarian victuals and a few hours of intriguing conversation the group took a stroll through the farm. The owners explained the process of rice cultivation and mentioned how they initially bought their property for the equivalent of $8,000. Over the last few years they have developed the land into the farm and now live a self-sufficient lifestyle. Many great dialogues were had over countless cups of tea in the coolest living room overlooking the Kofu valley.
As the sun concealed itself behind the Japanese Alps we said our farewells and climbed into the back of Marcel’s truck for the ride home. For a final encore to the last four days of adventure and party, Adam and I hiked through the mist-shrouded woods to the top of Koyodai Lookout.
The next couple days anticipating my triumphant return to Tokyo were fairly low key. The farm was still regaining its strength and running in low gear. The only real experience worth mentioning is the acquisition of an SUV that is street legal. It didn’t take too long to get used to driving on the left side of the road. With the exception of Japan’s lack of stop signs there isn’t much different then driving in America. However, the new found mobility was a welcome change from the last few weeks of bumming rides to the bath house and walking for an hour to reach the nearest convenience store.
Tags: - Transport & Travel, Asia, BBQ, Fuji, Japan, Japan: Yamanashi, Truck