During the end of April and beginning of May there are a series of Japanese holidays. This time is referred to as Golden Week. A number of Japanese people asked me about American Golden Week. When I explained that there is not one they could not believe it because the overall perception of the USA is that there are always holidays and time off.
The first in this series of holidays is April 29th. This holiday was originally the Emperor's birthday and is now known as Showa Day. This year April 29th fell on a Tuesday. I had to go to work that Monday and Wednesday so I spent Monday night watching so many episodes of Gossip Girl that it began to blend with my emotions about real life.
On the Saturday of the Golden Week weekend I broke a sweat as I walked to the Ikeda train station. I boarded the express train and applied sunscreen as I listen to Erin Mckeown's "Better Wife" twice.
Saturday and Sunday afternoon was spent outside with my number one priority being to get good use out of my new sunglasses and open toed shoes.
May 4th is Nature Day. It was an appropriate time hike up Mt. Ishizuchi, the tallest Mountain in Shikoku. Five other folks (who are currently residing in Tokushima) and I took the rope way to about 1300 meters and hiked for two hours to reach the 1982 meter peak.
As you can tell from the above detailed map, it was a very steep hike. Unfortunately, this was the only day in this series of holidays that was not clear and sunny. The higher we hiked the denser the clouds got and by the time we reached the top we could barely see 10 feet in front of us. Though the energies exerted were well worth it.
On the way up we saw some May mountainside snow and said plenty of breathless "Konichiwa's" as we passed other hikers on the same trek.
This spring vacation wrapped up with a lovely picnic on my favorite of the Golden Week Holidays, Children's Day, a day to celebrate the children that make up the family. Then everyone in Japan had to drag themselves back to a three- day work week.
"There is a damn good reason for a change of season" -Dr. Dog