Japan, June 2014: Day Twenty One

When you’re staying between two awesome mountains (Haruna and Akagi) and have an 86 to play with, we had no option than to make the most of today by heading to a petting zoo. Ikaho Green Bokujō is a large farm centre that is geared up for kids – perfect for us then. They also produce their own dairy products here, so the food is amazing. With goats and sheep (although tied down) free to roam around and with Emma on full cute animal alert, we found ourselves in the baby rabbit petting house. So cute you could almost eat them (and we probably have), we spent a while taking photos and generally gushing over the kawaii bunnies.

It was 10:45 and we had a sheep dog show to catch, so with rabbits back in their pram, we grabbed an ice cream and headed down to the show ground. I’ll be honest, I went along with it because it was a nice day and Emma was enjoying herself… Then we saw the Hollywood style Sheep Dog Show sign across the valley. The sheep were happily grazing around it as the dog and his trainer were introduced. To our surprise, this was all in English. Brian, from New Zealand, was the host of the show and with the help of the Japanese assistant, proceeded to put on a genuinely impressive show. No sooner had the introductions ended, the dog tore off across the valley and proceeded to round up the stampede of sheep in a quite frankly ridiculously rapid manner. The whole show was funny, entertaining and incredibly out of place in Japan. We spent a while after the show chatting to Brian about Japan, his work and even the 3/11 earthquake – a bloody nice chap.

We wandered around the rest of the farm and eventually headed back up Haruna, chasing an awesome looking and sounding Fairlady Z (350Z) all the way. Once at the top we headed to the ropeway station that would take us to the top of Haruna-Fuji, the mini Mount Fuji that overlooks the lake. Parking up next to a cool, battered Chaser. We looked around the weird little shops before jumping in the cable car.

Not for the first time this trip, the weather was playing a major part in our sightseeing. The morning fog hadn’t lifted and now we are at the top of a mountain, covered in cloud with a visibility of about 200m. We found it funny and walked the short but steep distance to the shrine at the peak. Descending from Haruna-Fuji and driving back to the hotel, we saw a few places to visit tomorrow.

After a siesta in the room, we headed out for a drive to get some food. With no particular destination in mind, we just drove around until we saw what looked like a DIY megastore along the lines of B&Q and Homebase. Ordinarily this wouldn’t have interested us, but we thought they’d have cool Japanese stuff to play with. And it didn’t disappoint. However, all their stuff was better and cheaper than we get – so much so that we walked out with a couple of new suitcases. We’ve been looking for BIG cases for all the crap we will buy before we leave – but wherever we’ve been, they have been for sale around £150. We picked up two, TSA approved cases for £28 each… I don’t think there is a big demand for these cases in the backwater town we’re in.

After grabbing a beef bowl and rice, we’re back in the hotel and looking forward to tomorrow. Despite the cooler weather and the fact the cloud never lifted, Emma is also nursing some sunburn. Haha!