After nearly 20 years in big Tokyo I was feeling burned out in my not-so-successful "career" in the service industry, knocking on several after a chance discovery of cheap old farmhouses we set out towards the countryside - but still close enough for my wife to further pursue her working live, commuting by Shinkansen while I would take care of the house and kids and build my own little cafe at home...
Our first bump came when we realized that the bank wasn't willing to give a loan for an old rundown house on some worthless property in the "Hinterland". So, we changed plans and will be building a new house. We already bought the plot last year, with about 400 square meters size, and I have started the vegetable garden beforehand, next project will be the garden house.

31 May, 2011

Hannah's Hiking Trip

Two months ago I had bought a baby-carrier backpack from Mont Bell to be able to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings of Karuizawa with the whole family and we had tried it on one occasion. I was quite satisfied with it: Hannah looked comfortable riding in it, the buckled harness would keep her safely even when I would do a total flip-over and the load was not too heavy on my shoulders, plus it had good storage space beneath the seat. So I decided it was time for her hiking-debut "Yama-girl" as they are called in Japanese, to describe young gals going into the woods in proper yet fashionable outfit adapted from the old saying "fashion follows function". We have a small hill very close by by the form of a bowler hat, rather steep sides, but more or less flat on the top, and with only about 600 meters in hight it would mean a hike through the woods with a splendid look-out at the top. I had hiked it once before from the east side which turned out to be an asphalted road zig-zagging up the side to be used by the forest workers. This time I chose the south-west path which would go through the forest on a more gentle slope. In winter this area seems to be the "hang-out" for the local monkey group (and I had actually spotted them before) but we didn't see any bigger species including bears that also make some rare appearances. There actually was a notice at the entrance of the trail with warning about bears and an updated notice about the "appearance" of one only one week earlier. This seemed to be the strongest alert over "sighting" and "foot prints". So I was rather happy that we didn't  set out in too early time and had a bell to make some noise since our baby proved "noisy" only for small part of the trip.
The Yama-girl all dressed up at home

Ready to "hit" the trail, a bit nervously chewing on her toy

The one who is really "hitting" the trail with a load of about 13 kg on the back

Nice forest trail, fresh green and even fresher air after a few days of heavy rain because of a Taifun

All this was too much for our fresh Yama-girl; after less than 30 min, she felt asleep swinging on my  back

A few flowers still blooming

As well as some trees

The rather uneasy part of the trail, planks with non-slip surfaces and slats across them above the ground, but some parts rotten and sunken away, where we had to tip-toe forward.
After a bit more than an hour we had finally reached the top, covering about 600 meter in height difference. Hannah was finally waking up from the fresh breeze at the top

My two Yama-girls, one very seasoned and one just doing her first steps experiences regarding Nature

We had some Bento lunch, stretching our strained legs and relaxing for a while before starting the descent

Where we again met some delicate flowers

And again someone felt asleep

Deep in Dreams

On our way home we had a well-earned coffee-break with cake, 3 pieces for the 3 of us:
I had half a piece from Hannah for carrying her
My wife had half a piece to pass on to her later as Cassis-Latte

And Hanna had her usual energy drink: Oolong tea

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