I spent a great weekend hiking in the mountains of Yamanashi, near Oottsuki. It was kind of a ¡Èsequel¡É to the peace climb a couple months ago. Most of the members from that trip didn't show up, but the organizer was the same.
We woke up early and caught the train to Ootuki where we arrived at just around noon. Some people wanted to skip the hiking all together and just go straight to the inn where all the beer and Gold-flake-filled sake we could dream of was waiting. There was an idea floating around to make the big hike the next day instead. This didn't really seem realistic since if all went according to plan no one would be able to stand the next day. We made the hike that day. What was supposed to be a 3 hour hike turned into a 5 hour hike as it seems some distances were severely miss-judged. To make things worse, I didn't pack water because I have never been anyplace in Japan without a vending machine within 100 meters. This time however, when we got to the ¡Èstart¡É of the climb, there was not a vending machine in sight. Everyone else only packed a 16oz bottle of water each so I was sure we would all be dehydrated and die at the top.
Obviously we didn't all die.
The hike was great... saw Fuji at one point, drank water from a suspicious hose that we found in the middle of the mountain, even though we had no idea where it originated, and made it back to the booze, hot bath, and great meal by 6:00.
The main highlight of the night was finding out that French and English people are gung-ho in support of sexual harassment at work. (it's my site so I can summarize their arguments however I want). I found that I am the most loved American alive by French standards, and I feel terribly guilty for unplugging the Karaoke box and causing one poor drunk bastish to try and fix it all night so he could sing a song.