A four day weekend is one of those perfect bits of time, long enough to take a day trip, and still have plenty of time to do all the things people usually end up doing on weekends (cleaning, cooking, laundry... koto practice) in a leisurely fashion.
Saturday was spent at the dentist (boo), followed by koto okeiko in Saitama (yay) and then at dinner with Matcha-kun (yay²).
Sunday was odd, starting with a sneak-goukon in Futagotamagawa (which I had no idea was one until stepping through the door... more about that in later post), and followed by a lovely birthday carb-fest at home with my sharemates.
And Monday I rode the Tobu Nikko line for almost four hours, to go skiing in Aizu with a friend from college. Aizu is indeed in Fukushima prefecture, however is safe and well-monitored by both public and private organizations for radiation. A lot of Tohoku is really struggling right now, and as an ethical traveller I feel it is important (while keeping safety in mind) to try and help in some small way.
And, truly, it is absolutely beautiful.
My friend Hippy-chan spent the season working at the Takatsue Ski Resort, which has tons of good slopes for all levels, and some of the best fresh powder I have seen in years. This is obviously a place for serious snowboarders and skiers, and not a place people go to be seen. The view from the top slopes was breathtaking, mountain after mountain covered in bare trees and snow, with hawks riding the termals above it all.