author:スポンサードリンク, category:-,
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Japan's Silver Week
 Every Spring, Japan has a string of national holidays that, depending on the year, may fall on the calendar just right to give one week of time off. It's a time of year that the weather really is beautiful, not too hot yet, and everyone in the country is out and about.  It's also the time of year when koi no bori (carp streamers) are hung out and flown in public areas, homes and elementary schools. It's quite picturesque.

Well, this Fall, quite by chance, there were two national holidays that fell on a Monday and a Wednesday, so the government threw in another holiday to give some people a total of five days off (for those who don't work on Saturday.)  Because the Spring holidays are called Golden Week, this string of holidays was dubbed Silver Week. (I think it's ironic that five days becomes a week in some people's mind...)

Unfortunately, like most national holidays, Japan becomes congested with travellers trying to escape the cities and go to various tourist sites.  Hotels and airline companies raise their prices accordingly and we all become ants marching along the expressways, train lines and airports.

But, we  escaped all of this in to the country.  A nearby mountain top has preserved the old fashioned Japanese country home all with the straw roof, fire pit in the middle of the room known as irori and large tatami rooms for sleeping on futons. 
Hattoji, mountain top village

Our children had a great time trying to catch frogs, red bellied newts, lizards, grasshoppers, katydids....anything they could find.  We also saw a number of snakes..more than I have ever seen!  There is one type of snake that is poisonous so we have to be careful.  My oldest even fed a frog to a snake laying in the sun! Real live experiments for the future scientist.
Finding frogs

We had a nice time in the small village on top of the mountain. The villagers are hard workers, growing vegetables, maintaining rice paddies and even cultivating chestnuts. I imagine that winter must be tough...snowed in and unable to go down the mountain for days!
Digging for sweet potatoes
author:jumpstart, category:-, 14:21
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author:スポンサードリンク, category:-, 14:21
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