Sunday, September 12, 2004

Why Shimokita is the Coolest

First, if you don’t know where or what the heck Shimokita is, take a look at the map. The first reason Shimokita is cool is that it is a part of Aomori prefecture. If you don’t know where Aomori is, then you’d better go here and click on #2. The second reason is that it is a peninsula shaped like an axe, and how cool is that!? Besides, we have the world’s northernmost monkeys, some really tame wild horses, one of Japan’s three most sacred spots (a moonscaped mountain named “Terror” that smells like rotten eggs and is overrun by spirits), and tons and tons of nuclear, radio active fun (see section 5 on Misawa and Rokkasho). We are the poorest region in Aomori, Japan’s poorest prefecture. How cool is that!? Besides, this is my home. This is where I live. You know you want to be here. Anyway, I had an opportunity to do some great hiking here in Shimokita on Sunday.

Chris, Dan, Teresa, and I went to Noidoishiyama to check out the great view of Hokkaido and Mutsu Bay.

Strictly speaking, rock climbing wasn’t necessary in reaching the summit, but it was fun to do anyway.

We were able to conquer the peak in a surprisingly short time, and the view of Shimokita and beyond was SPECTACULAR!

Dan, Teresa, and Chris chill at the top. Good job, Teresa! Not everyone enjoys mountain climbing with slip-on indoor shoes and a stomach ache.

The bear repelling bells Dan and Teresa borrowed from the entrance sign at the trailhead were tiny and pathetic, but this dude saved his giant Nebuta bells for scaring away the bears. His wife kept telling him to give them to me, and I kept telling them that I’m Canadian and therefore impervious to bears, and that I only wanted a photograph.