Using the opportunity

This free net access is too good to pass up, so you might be hearing little bits and pieces from me every day while I'm staying in Sapporo… πŸ™‚

Today I took the train back south a bit, to Toya. There I caught a bus to two nearby volcanos, one of which was only 'born' 1946 or so, growing out of the ground to over 400m in only a year. That was pretty cool! Sadly the ropeway up to the other, still active volcano was so expensive that I had to refrain from going to the luxurious spa there, but I'll make up for it by having a nice long soak in the Japanese bath at the hostel tonight…

Although the hostel I'm staying in is pretty crappy (not even a self-service kitchen – I have to ask for hot water at the reception!), they still have the proper bath instead of just showers, which is lovely, as I've developed the habit of ending each day with a nice soak. In Japanese baths the (very hot) water always stays in the big tub (often the size of a small pool), and you have to clean yourself before getting in, sitting on overturned buckets, using either shower heads or bowls that you fill in the tub, depending on how basic the bath is. If you go to a public onsen (normally translated into English as 'spa', although they're often little more than public bathrooms used by the whole neighbourhood), chances are that little old ladies will show you exactly how it's done. πŸ™‚

Okay, enough for today. It's almost 6pm, which means that it's dark outside, so I think I'll go to Starbucks for a tea (everywhere else they seem to sell only coffee and basic black tea) and a read (had to buy even more books today *g*), before heading to the hostel for my daily cup of noodles… Take care – and get in touch, I love hearing from you, even if I don't have the time to answer! *smile*