Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Day 13 - Our First Vulcano

Today's plan was to go on the summit of Mt. Aso. In ancient times, Mt. Aso was a monstrous vulcano which created the world's largest caldera (124 km diameter), in which several villages were built. In the middle of this caldera formed today's Mt. Aso, much smaller than his predecessor, but still quite large (almost 1600 m high). Since the vulcanic activity increased last year, the way up to the crater rim is not accessable anymore. What a pity, because the caldera lake is the same temperature and colour as the turquoise jigoku, yesterday. But the crater's steam contains too much toxic gas.

Large toxic steam cloud above Mt Aso

So, we spent our time on the big parking lot next to given-up restaurants on a picnic bench with a view of the steaming crater. As we left the bus that drove us (lazy like we are) to this place, a woman talked to us "ooohh where are you from blabla". When we came to speak about ages, the woman and her two friends guessed us much older than we are, but we guessed her around 40, 45 - she actually was 64. In the meantime we shot some photographs of us together with the Japanese elderly women.

Female European tourists above 1.75m seem to be automatically considered to be fashion models, so don't be surprised if people ask you to be photographed with them (this was actually the third time in less than two weeks).
Before returning to our ryokan, we decided to visit the Aso Shrine. Luckily we came to see a religious theatralic performance where you could watch a devil dance his devil dance to some rhythmic drum and bell music. This play also seems to be comprised of a large number of verses; we left after ca. ten minutes.

Due to this extensive breakfast (we needed one hour for eating) we almost did not need any lunch. This was the first time we had a full Japanese breakfast, in contrast to corn flakes and muesli that we are used to.
  • Far left our room key with our room name. Why use numbers if you can name your rooms after flowers? (in order to find your room, you either need a good spatial memory or good pattern matching skills)
  • An ikebana flower bouquet that changes every day in all the vases in the house (uncountable)
  • Some seaweed
  • A cooker with eggs sunny side up, Frankfurter sausage and mushroomes
  • A miso soup
  • On the green plate a cooked salmon, some egg thing and its spices
  • To its right a salad
  • In the yellow box some pickles, to its left some yoghurt with raspberry jam
  • Behind some ugly beans that tasted bitter and sour at once and looked like they were cooked with melted cheese (picture)
  • On the right some fresh tofu, green tea, different sauces and spices and a rice bowl

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