Monthly Archives: July 2013

4 Shirabu Onsen: The Hobby Hermit

Shirabu Onsen is a scattering of hot spring resorts on the steep, thickly-forested slopes of Mount Azuma.  At the far back of a tired-looking grocery store that lacked both customers and groceries, a bent-backed old woman was sat busily knitting. I interrupted her to ask for directions. Advertisements

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4 Shirabu Onsen: The woman in the rice

I spent my first 3 nights in Yonezawa without having one bath.  With so many hot spring-resorts nearby, not bathing felt like a sin, like going to Brighton without going to the beach.

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Yonezawa: Temple yoga and a little local flavour

The main hall of a temple provides a perfect environment for yoga.  There is the calming smell of incense, natural air and light blown in through open windows, a high ceiling with a soft tatami mat floor to lie on, and in the centre of … Continue reading

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A distinguished lunch

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3 Yonezawa: Between the dead and the living

I find it much easier to have faith in the dead than in the living.  The dead don`t let you down, don`t cancel at the last-minute and don`t go home without buying their round.  They don`t do anything really except … Continue reading

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2 Yonezawa: Hedges and the evil empire

This morning I sent another box back to England.  Books and extra t-shirts have become too much of a burden.  Literature and cleanliness became luxuries the instant I had to lug them around all day.  I have kept hold of Graham Greene`s … Continue reading

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1 Yonezawa: First night

Packing is not my strong point.   In scorching sunshine yesterday afternoon, I lugged a bear-sized backpack and a 25-year-old Shrewsbury Town Football Club holdall stuffed with books to the bank of the Mogami river. 

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