Will's Tour Diary - updated daily!

Will's tour diary
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Monday 16th October 2000

Griff went to school. Richard and I checked our emails and then head off to explore the area.

It was a perfect day. We drove up to Lake Shikaribetsuko, an hour north of Griff's place and part of Daisetsuzan National Park. We found a cafe overlooking the lake. Richard settled down on the balcony of the cafe, and plugged into the powerpoint. I polished off the regional specialty - super creamy soft serve - and set off for a hike.

After weeks of driving I really needed to stretch my legs. I grabbed a map at the Lake Shikaribetsuko Nature Centre and headed for the summit of 1187 tall Mount Hakuun. Ominously, signs at the beginning of the trails warned about bears. I signed my name in the official register at the trailhead and set off. I started puffing on the ascent, but soon I warmed up and I was striding genkily along the trail. I saw no bears but through the trees I caught glimpses of the azure lake below. It was beautiful and peaceful - the loudest sound was my own breathing. I met only one other hiker, a 20-something guy who informed me that the summit was just "a little further". Forty five minutes and I had reached the top - a rocky outcrop from which I surveyed the world below me. I rang Richard and told him to look for a figure wearing red standing on the top of the mountain. He told me to jump up and down. I pointed out that with the prevailing winds such an action might leave him driverless. I compromised by waving my arms about.

Ran down in 30 minutes and felt absolutely invigourated.

At the cafe the waitress had been paying a lot of attention to Richard. In addition to providing him with a second coffee gratis she had send a fax for us - again on the house. When, as we were leaving I asked her for the cafe's business card she suggested a memo, and then without prompting said "Shall I give you my phone number?" We were too polite to refuse.

Back in Obihiro we checked out Big Ban for a secondhand video camera. No luck, but we did spot some cool leather biker uniforms.

Met up with Griff and Amber. Dinner was tabehodai - all you can eat - at a yakiniku family restaurant. Yakiniku means grilled meat. The meat, and near relatives like intestines, tongue etc sit in huge trays in a self service area. The grill is set in the middle of the table. Tabehodai means you can keep going back and getting meat and cooking it at the table until you sensibly feel full or just a little beyond that point. The dessert is also 'all-you-can-eat'. Griff admitted it wasn't a 'classy' place but the quantity made up for any defect in quality. He also confessed that the fish he had cooked the previous night had actually had growths in it, but that he removed them and cooked it anyway.

I should have gone to bed early but I stayed up writing - too caught up in it to stop.


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Opinions expressed in this diary are personal views of Will Jasprizza. They do  not necessarily represent those of Genki English, especially where he is slagging people off or making jokes which sounded better at the time!!! Please be understanding!


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