Kusatsu Trip – Friday

We got up at 6:50, took a morning bath, and ate breakfast in the guesthouse.  It was a clear fine day, and again, not hot and sticky!  After checking out, we went to the cable car station in the mountains.  The tickets were pretty steep, but after deciding it was worth it, we took the ten minute ride to Mt. Shirane.  During the cable car ride, the battery light on my camera started flashing – typical!  At the end of the ride, we got on the shuttle bus that took us to Mt. Shirane.  There was a shop there, so fortunately I was able to buy new batteries!  There was a bright blue pool that we could walk up the mountain to.  The route was about 500m, and looked pretty steep, so we ate lunch in the cafe and looked out of the window to ponder whether I could make it or not.

We eventually decided that it would be a shame to miss it and that we could take it slowly.  By this time, it was 1p.m., which is a really stupid time to be outdoors and doing physical activity, so of course we started climbing up the path.  It had become quite hot and sunny at this point too.  We finally reached the top, with me cursing myself for being stupid enough to think I could climb a mountain in my last month of pregnancy…but the view was fantastic!  I’d seen photos of the lake, but I just assumed they’d added more colour to make it look bluer than in actually was, but it was REALLY bright blue!  The lake has the highest acid content in the world apparently, and was very stinky.  It isn’t a good idea to stay there for too long, as there is a very strong smell.  There are no trees or grass up there, as nothing can grow.  Some people had made small tombstone like monuments from stones because it’s such a potent atmosphere that nothing can live there.  It was rather odd.

Anyway, after sitting down to recover for a bit, we made our way back down the mountain, which was a lot easier than going up, but still a bit tough!  After taking the bus and cable car back, we decided to buy some souvenirs for Yusuke’s office, and then go home.  It was only about 3p.m., but I was really tired from my marathon hike, and thought it would be a good idea to slowly make our way back.  I was quite sad on the way home, because it’ll be our last trip before the baby. 

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