WLJT: Day 31 (Itoigawa)

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My last WLJT blog post! I woke up early in order to be in Itoigawa by 9AM. I didn’t need to actually be there until late afternoon, but the day sounded so interesting and I was so close (only an hour or so away) that I asked if I could join in with Emma’s last day on the job. I got the OK… as long as I didn’t show up in any of her pictures! It was nice to wander around without the pressure of getting good pictures for a post, and had a fun full day to spend instead of bumming around waiting for the final event. So it worked out well.

This time, you can read Emma’s blog post on the day here, since yesterday’s post was my last. I was with them throughout the day, even if it seems like I showed up at the end!

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Leaving Omachi in the still morning

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And on the road to Niigata!

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Arriving in Niigata and meeting up with Emma and the team, we headed first for a hike to a beautiful lake in the mountains

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Perfect timing for the autumn colors!

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Like a Monet painting!

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It was chilly and rainy, but worth it, despite my feet getting soaked

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These maples are turning

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Salt Walk Museum in an old-style building

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Vines on wood

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Banzai! I mean, Bonsai!

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Very expensive little trees…

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Mostly because it takes just a little bit of time to make these shapes

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Arrival at Itoigawa Station

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And a walk to the coast to complete the day, and the tour

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I sampled some local sake at dinner that evening

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Like these!

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The next day was the final event with food, then home.

Thanks for reading along with me! I enjoyed this tour so much, and was glad to be able to write about and “relive” it a bit again on the one-year anniversary of it. I wish I could take a trip like this again, but it was truly once-in-a-lifetime. That’s ok, I’ll have other adventures from now on. Looking forward to them!

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WLJT: Day 30 (Lake Kizaki)

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To make up for yesterday’s post, todays is full of pictures that I wish I had been able to include in my official blog post and just had way too many pictures to be able to add all of them. So take a look at the explanation of the art around Lake Kizaki and my day there, and then here are a bunch more pictures from the day!

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Lake Kizaki, the unassuming center of a huge primitive art movement

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A quick look through the forest shows natural growth, and natural art scattered around

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Baskets maybe?

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Ear.

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I’m reminded a bit of the Blair Witch Project though…

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A different kind of canopy

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This bit was really cool

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Moss and wood

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Is it growing? I can’t tell!

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Some beautiful fall colors around

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And fall flowers on the other side of the lake

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Small station

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Today’s question: is it art or not?

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Rice field planted in interesting ways

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Inside some random dude’s storage barn… these are amazing!

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Each piece centers around a basic item found in the storage barn, like an old umbrella or a wrench, then embellished

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At a museum near the station

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This is dirt. No, I mean, it’s MADE with dirt! Different colors of dirt turned to paint! I was speechless!

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Look at this!

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Who comes up with this? But the result is amazing!

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Lunchtime!

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I didn’t expect the restaurant to be as nice as it was

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But I probably should have considering where I was!

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Another old storage place

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Delicate porcelain leaves

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Up to the mountains at the base of the Alps (which you can’t see due to the clouds, I literally jumped when I saw them looming later on)

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Tree houses, a forest of them! I could have stayed in one, but it would have been cold…

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One last tree house on the edge of a cliff

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But the view!

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I lied, this was the last tree house… maybe my favorite!

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Looking up

I would love to visit Kizaki again and see what new art I can find!

WLJT: Day 29 (Omachi)

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Sooo… the thing is, I live in Gunma. I passed right by my house (on the highway anyway) when I drove to Minakami, and would pass it again on my way to my next destination. And Since my next stop in Nagano was only about 2 hours away and I’ve been sorta everywhere around the area already, instead of sightseeing somewhere, I stopped by my house to drop stuff off and ended up napping with my cat for a good chunk of the afternoon.

Hey, this WLJT stuff is tiring!

Anyway, so I have almost zero pictures from the day. I could post pictures of my cat, but instead I’ll just apologize for another short and boring post. Sorry! It was a good nap, though!

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Arriving into Nagano to my little pension in Omachi, I learned everyone pitches in with dinner and chores here.

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A little apprehensive about that, but the food was good despite my “help”!

By the way, the top image is of the cutest set of chopstick rests I’ve ever seen, and oddly appropriate for the day, don’t you think?

WLJT: Day 28 (Minakami)

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My time in Minakami was spent exploring just a small sample of the outdoor activities of the area, Canoeing and Canyoning. I borrowed a waterproof camera for most of the wet stuff (so most of the day), therefore the pictures are adequate but not great. Anyway, you can see the best ones on my official blog post here on the WLJT page. Here are a few extra pictures I took with my main camera:

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Lakewalk in the morning for my canoeing experience

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Boats on the lake… we were actually technically kayaking I think! (Canoes kayaks potato potahto…)

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The lake was really pretty until the sun went behind the clouds

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Lunchtime at a restaurant built entirely of wood with the owner’s two hands.

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And delicious food!

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I went down this waterfall.

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And pizza and beer for dinner

That’s it! The rest of the photos are all in the official post, so be sure to take a peak there!

WLJT: Day 27 (Gunma)

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Another long day of driving, from Izu back north to Gunma Prefecture’s Minakami Town. I made a stop in Yamanashi Prefecture as well just for a few views of Mt. Fuji on the way to Gunma, then just had an early night in Minakami after checking into the Canyons Lodge. Not so many interesting pictures from this day!

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But I grabbed one last wasabi snack before leaving Izu! (These things were addicting… I want one now!)

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One of the Fuji 5 lakes but I don’t remember which one…

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Drive by Mt. Fuji picture!

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Arriving in Minakami

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One of the onsen Minakami is famous for

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Bath

That’s it! Sorry its boring!