Posts Tagged ‘japan’
No, not Micky, Davy, Peter and Mike. That’s the ♫Hey, hey we’re the Monkees♫ and a 50-year old reference to boot. The monkeys I’m referring to are the macaque monkeys whose habitat includes Snow Monkey Park in the thermal springs resort area of the Japanese Alps where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held. One doesn’t usually associate monkeys with Japan – especially Snow Monkeys luxuriating in hot tubs – but having heard tale of these Asiatic monkeys (a prehensile tail one presumes), my inquisitive nature drew me to their habitat. I guess in some sense I was Curious David.
The Journey to Snow Monkey Park
My lovely wife Karin (who I’m very grateful to call a willing cohabitant) and I decided we’d visit Japan. At least partially, because at 6’4”, I wanted to go someplace where I’d feel even taller. This may seem a peculiar criterion to some, but I’ve always enjoyed looming and/or towering and it’s much easier to tower in the Land of the Not Quite Risen People than it is here in the States.
In researching our journey I discovered we’d have to fly to Japan because the land bridge I’d planned on using to walk across the Bering Isthmus had vanished into the sea some 15,000 years ago. I have got to keep up on geologic events – even though many of them move at a glacial pace. Still, how did I miss that? So although this discovery was a setback, at least I now had my Berings Strait. As tour director and planning engine, Karin already knew this, but was wise enough to give me a long enough leash whereby I’d exhaust myself in frivolous research and then happily surrender to her well-planned itinerary. We flew non-stop from KLAX to RJAA (Tokyo) in only 11 hours. But with feedings, movies and pee breaks, it went by like 38 hours. Read the rest of this entry »