17th of March: Running up the hill… finally!

I’m a little bit late for my usual schedule, but it’s the end of my journey, so I also have a lot more stuff to organise besides writing. You’ll have to bear with me here ;)

On Wednesday, I decided to make a final push for the top of the seemingly unclimbable hill and visit Gen later. So after I bought my bus-ticket to get to the Kansai International Airport on Monday, I set out to the east again. Because of the nice weather that day, I decided to make a small stop at a tiny park close to the Okayama castle and enjoy the sun for a few minutes, like a lot of Japanese, who were also sitting there. I had more or less just sat down, when an older japanese man placed himself next to me and started talking to me. He was interested in where I come from, so we got into a chitchat about various things. So far, he’s only seen Germany out of train windows, but after talking to me, he definitely wanted to go there soon. Maybe I should be advertising for Germany professionally :D

After he had to got again, I continued my way to the mountain. Because Gen had told me where to start last time, it was easy to find the starting point. But man… I had underestimated the effects of one and a half years without seriously following a sport. The climbing was far more exhausting than expected and I’m not really pleased with that – I mean, I’ve even climbed in the Alps and that’s a totally different level. It’s Time to do some regular sports again when I’m back home! Anyway, after the first exhaustion the rest went pretty smooth again and I reached the top and viewing spot quickly. The view over Okayama was really nice, seeing how it filled a big area surrounded by mountains. Makes for a typical japanese city I’d say ;)

For getting down from the mountain, I decided to take another way. Unfortunately, that way ended at some point and there was only a broken sign, which was leaning to two trees. Not a big help actually. But hey, I only need to follow the flow of the mountain down and I should logically reach the city soon again. With this though in mind, I started to fight my way through bushes and trees for about 15 minutes, until I found another way again, which led me off the mountain and out of the forest covering it.

As I said, I wanted to visit Gen again before I fly back to Germany, and today was a good day to do so. Therefor I went to the Shorinji-temple after my mountain-trip, but Gen was sadly not there. As I got to know later, he had telephone service, to help people who had questions and problems. Luckily, his wife hana and his young daughter Toko were both there and invited me inside while I sat outside to write a letter to Gen. I received tea and sweets again and talked to Hana quite some time, until she invited me to stay for dinner. You pause a moment and wow! I mean I’m just there for the second time and am invited for dinner – that’s definitely one of the nicest things that happened to me in my whole life and makes a mockery of thoughts about japanese people beeing reluctant towards foreigners. When Gen came back home, they even decided to take me to a small japanese bar instead of eating at home. So the four of us (and they even tried to invite nozomi, but she was eating with a friend!) had a nice evening at the bar and I’m entirely sure, that they are some of the nicest people I know! I’m definitely going to write them when I’m back home! :)

And at the end of this post, some photos of the day ;)

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