Here I sit, as the rain lightly falls on a back alleyway in the heart of the Shibuya District, watching the uniformed school children with their umbrellas make their way to the high school down the street. The politeness of the Japanese is remarkable, as I left my hotel early this morning the receptionist refused to let me leave without an umbrella, but after much persuading and having to flash the dimples, I managed to leave without it and saved face at the same time; one should never be disrespectful to your host, especially turning down politeness. But it didn’t stop there, not a store on the street that was open did not accost me by the owner trying to give me an umbrella. I suppose it is the thing to do in Japan, use an umbrella. And they are everywhere, kind of like the city’s umbrellas, for us foreigners that is. The Japanese take even umbrella having to a crazy level, as their’s are big, colorful, anime, or just so bright it hurts your eyes. By the time I had made it a mile I finally just gave in, so as not to continue to be harassed if anything else, as I am geared for the rain.
Which brings me to the title of this post… changes. My first big change of the trip… I had to cancel Mt. Fuji. Of course it has to start snowing the day I want to hike it and spend the night. It is supposed to be below zero tonight, and they are strongly advising people like me from hiking anyway. Now mind you, I knew it would be cold. I was prepared for a winter level night hike in California (windy and in the 30s, I am prepared for that always, as I hike at night quite often, especially of late) but I was not prepared for snow flurries. Not at all. So now I reorganize, reevaluate, and set forth a new plan to conquer.
More later, but for now…
I will listen to the rain, and sip my saké… (yes, saké for breakfast so stop judging me, it is a utilitarian drink after all) …. while I watch the collection of random business men and women saunter down this alley towards places and people unknown.