Spending 2 days form feb 14 to 16 in the Ishikawa prefecture (Kaga) at the Yamanaka onsen ("in the mountains hot spring") was one of my best experiences in Japan to date. ☺ I mean, I always sorta fantasized about sitting in an outdoor hot spring in the mountains drinking sake while the snow gently falls. *cue violins* ... well I actually got to experience just that! And let me tell you, it was awesome! (awesome |ˈôsəm | adjective extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration,) The experience was made complete with table tennis during the night, and pot dinner consisting of fresh crab and other goodies from the sea.
Before dinner on the second day, my friend who had been gracious enough to invite me and my friend along to the onsen, went so see an old friend who lived in that village. It turns out that this friend is also a dancing instructor for geisha! (O_O;) I remember thinking; ”whoa! thats pretty cool” this friend then decided that they would do a private performance in our room at the onsen... for free. Σ（ﾟдﾟ；） (Alf quickly pinches his arm...aw! (O_o’)
(No I don’t play the shamisen, but I was encouraged to hold it for the photo (^_^
This was an amazing experience! I would like to point out that this only happens to people in the movies, or to Bill gates if he saves up for it. Not a single japanese friend of mine have ever personally experienced a private performance with a geisha(NOT a maiko), Let alone have her instructor perform ”otoko mai” for them. (I filmed two of the geishas performances in 1080i, they can both be seen in my youtube channel.) (Unfortunately her instructors "otoko mai" I was unable to capture)
After the performance we enjoyed ridiculous amounts of delicious seafood.
This meal was absolutely great! (^_^)/
After eating my friend and I went to the outdoor hot spring bath. (needless to say you are not allowed to bring sake or camera, but we were the only to people there so I really couldn’t let that opportunity slide now could I?) And with the snow piling up around us it was beyond idyllic. (>_<)/
(I will be dead before I forget that trip.)
The previous day, we had gone into town to buy some snacks and sake for the evening, and to take in the nice atmosphere from the small town. I found a this small and cozy sake distributor called ”くぼで” (kubode.com) where one could taste all sorts of good sake for a few ¥.
(By the way! the sake on the far right is REALLY good. ”手取川 あらばしり”) So I get to talking a bit with the owner of the place, who is a really nice guy, and all of the sudden he decides that I should have a handmade book about sake.
I had a truly great time in Kaga. And I think that the only way I could possibly improve on it, would be to bring my girlfriend there someday (If I win the lottery that is). *sigh*