Afterwards, we (of course) visited the onsen, which was nice but nothing too special. We noticed the water temp there and at our pension's onsen were both significantly cooler than what we were used to - apparently "some like it hot" in Akita. We were then served a lavish several-course dinner, probably the best meal I've had since coming here (I think Tricia said something similar), and at this point I will one-up their blog entry by actually having pics of the food.
salmon, salad, and beef
Edel and I spent dinnertime mockingly moping the hard life of being an ALT in Japan. Seated across the fireplace from us were an older Japanese couple who took a liking to us and sent us over some beer inc. a Guinness (or Guinness-like substance) for Edel. The rest of the guests were fairly young and in larger groups, which started the wheels turning for me of arranging a big trip here next year possibly somehow to the benefit of Everest of Apples. After dinner, I rooted through Rocky's movie collection and found one english-language non skiing-related video, The English Patient. Demonstrating his superior hostess-with-the-mostess skills, he rewound the movie for me and sat through all 3 hours of it with me (Great movie, RIP Anthony Minghella).
edel with guinness
The next day, breakfast (a combo of japanese and western including, strangely, a baked egg) was served buffet style and our time on the slopes was sunny enough to take amazing pics with the nearby Iwate-san in the background. We cut out early and had lunch at a French restaurant we had found in the pension village called Chez Johnny. The food was great, and we ate in what seemed to be the living room of the woman owner's house. She even had patee and espresso. She invited her husband out to meet us after telling us she had named the restaurant after him and we were surprised to find that he was not a frenchman as we so thought, just a regular nihon dude. Anyway, a surprisingly culinary weekend, and I highly recommend Appi, Rocky and Chez Johnny to anyone and everyone.
this is an abandoned pension (sadly, there were a few) called the pamplemousse, that inspired daydreaming of pension-owning
This is the omiyage (souvenir in the form of snackfood) I brought back for the teachers at my school, yummy appi bunny cookies!
On Monday I celebrated St. Patrick's Day for the second year running. Apparently, I came to Japan to hang out with Irish people.
even phil, the resident englishman, reluctantly donned a shamrock
Tomorrow I am providing entertainment for kids' "Tea Party" and Friday is the last day of school for the year -school year runs April-March. And a disclaimer from my ikebana sensei, the plant I liked from last week's class is not called bracken, but instead "osmond shoot".
And some news for you: nearly half of japanese people bathe with their cellphones and an article about self-mummifying monks. Please enjoy!