Many people came to this tour; a man from New York, a man who is blind, some couples and families. One of the guys seemed a nerd. He wore dirty glasses and a trench coat. I could picture his daily life.
After we ate lunch, we moved toward Shitennouji-temple. It started raining. There were many temples along the street. It doesn’t seem Osaka, but it is one face of Osaka. The trail was a little long, and the rain bothered us. We went through Kuchinawa-zaka and arrived at Shitennouji-temple.
When I went to Shitennouji-temple last time, a junk market had been held there, so I couldn’t expect how big it was. Shitennouji-temple is huge. At the temple, we had a Japanese sweet and tea. I didn’t eat it; I bought them back to my home.
After we took a short break, we listened to Rakugo. The title is Tennouji-maiji. It is a good plan because we could listen to Tennouji-mairi at Shitennouji-temple. It seemed a good plan, but I felt sleepy because all of us were tired. Yoshiko was sleeping, and some of them were sleeping, too. After Rakugo, a story teller, Katsura Bouji, introduced the instrumentals of rakugo to us. It was interesting. They had a large and a small drams, a flute and samisen, and they played some music.
Rakugo-Walked ended. Yoshiko and I saw a garden in Shitennouji. It has a beautiful garden. And the rain produced a fantastic image.
We ate Japanese sweets at Tennouji and went back to our homes. I really enjoyed Rakugo Walk. I want to join it next time, too.
Next, we visited Ikuyama shrine. In my image, Kouzu Shrine and Ikutama Shrine are brothers or sisters, but, of course, they aren’t. Kouze Shrine is small, and it seems the shrine is for public, but Ikutama Shrine is big and it smells off something politics. There, a priest explained about the shrine. It is one of the oldest shrines in Japan. The priest was a press officer, so he introduced very well. Yoshiko bought a lucky charm to her nephew that he is going to take an entrance exam this spring. She had bought a different charm at Kouzu shrine, too. The Kouzu’s one was 300yen, but the Ikutama’s one was 1,000yen. Ummm… Something wrong.
We had lunch there. Yoshiko and I were going to buy lunch boxes. There is Lowson along Tanimachi Street. Yoshiko bought rolled sushi and I bought chicken-mayonnaise- donburi. We went back to the shrine and ate lunch.
First, we visited Minamino-fukuju-benzaiten. It is one of the newest, and I think it is the smallest shrine in Japan. There is an entertainment god there. After that, we went to Mizukake-fudou. It is close to Minamino-fukuju-benzaiten. As you know, Mizukake-fudou is a popular sightseeing spot and many people visited there, so I couldn’t pray.
We walked along Doutonbori-river and went through people, and we arrived at Kouzu-shrine.
If you are a Rakugo fan, you will definitely know Kouzu-shrine. Kouzu-shrine is famous of “Kouzu-no-tomi”. We just listened to Kouzuno-tomi at Wahha-Kamigata. The story is about a man who bought a lottery. We listened to a talk by a priest there. He talked about the history of Kouzu-shrine and Kouzu-no-tomi.
Katsura Bunshi’s monument put up in the shrine. His last performance was at Kouzu-shrine. My parents liked Katsura Bunshi.
I participated Rakugo-walk. What is Rakugo-walk? You can understand later.
I met Yoshiko on a train. Our plan was that we would meet at Yodoyabashi Station, so I was a little surprised. We changed the train at Yodoyabashi Station, got off the train at Nanba and went to Wahha-Kamigata. Wahha-Kamigata is a kind of comedy museum. There, we listened to that day’s plan and Rakugo. Rakugo wasn’t live. It was a VTR, and Beicho and Shokaku Ⅵ performed. It was really funny even if it was the VTR.
After that, we started walking. We would visit some historical places of Rakugo.
I went to see a movie with Kiyomi and Rieko last Saturday. I got free tickets as usual. We met in front of the movie theater at 16:30. We hadn’t decided which movie we would watch. Some movies started around 16:30. I didn’t have any movies that I wanted to see. Rieko wanted to see ‘Flags of Our Fathers’, so we decided seeing it.
The drama was in World War Ⅱ. Some young soldiers put up the Star and Stripes on a hill in Iohu Island and that photo becomes very famous. The young soldiers are called ‘hero’, and they work to collect money for the war. But they know they aren’t heroes.
I thought I had to watch this movie, but I didn’t want to see because the theme is too serious. But the story wasn’t too heavy than I thought. The director drew the fact of the war without our feelings.
Rieko said we would have to see the next movie ‘Letters form Iohu jima.’. I want to see it if I get a free ticket(?).
On the airplane, I still had nothing to do. I read the book that I bought at Glacier or pretended sleeping. I looked at the pictures I took during the trip several times. And I played with the doll that Ito-chan and Mike-san gave. During this trip, I couldn’t sleep enough and my jet lag had been continuing until the trip ended. The book is helpful for tourist. If you go to Glacier, I recommend you to buy some books just after you arrive there.
Movies started. Of course, I watched them. The first one was a comedy. The star was Robin Williams. It was kind of slapstick. When I watched it, the lady who was sitting the next next seat bothered me. She said she wanted to go to the bathroom. The next movie was ‘Ice Age 2”. And she bothered me again. I don’t know why she always wanted to go to the toilet when I watched movies.
The flight was long. Even if I didn’t do anything, my stomach said she was hungry. I ate almost all food they prepared. I couldn’t eat a cake. I took a bite out of it, and I thought it was enough.
There were many Japanese at the airport. I felt I had already been in Japan.
I felt hungry. I remembered that Ito-chan had given me some snacks. She said they might help me when I felt hungry. I was looking for the snacks in my bag, but I couldn’t find it. I thought I had put them into my bag, but I had put them in my suitcase.
I bought a muffin and iced-tea. When I ordered iced-tea, a lady asked “mango?“ or something”. I couldn’t understand what her meaning. Iced tea is iced tea. However, I could know they have some flavors. It is rare in Japan. The muffin and iced tea were good. They were the last meal in the U.S.
We woke up around 4:30 A.M.. Our flights would leave really early. We left the hotel soon.
That morning was very busy. At the airport, Mike-san returned the car, and Ito-chan and Mike-san checked in and left first. Their departer time was 6:45. My airplane counter, North West, had been closed, so I waited in front of the counter. I waited for about 30 minutes, and checked in. After that, my luggage was opened at the security check counter. He was really friendly.
When I went through a body check, a man commanded me to stop, because I brought sun block and disposable body warmer in my bag. That time, people were really nervous for terrorism.
Ito-chan asked a good restaurant at the front desk, and we went to the downtown. I hadn’t seen a town for a while, so it was exciting. The restaurant was crowded. We went to a bar and Mike-san had Jack Daniel's. Our table was ready, soon. We had seats and ordered. I didn’t know what exactly I ordered. Mike-san recommended me ‘fillet steak’.
By the way, the waitresses in America have good memories. They always remember ‘Today’s special’; and 'Today’s special' isn’t only one, it always has many kinds of menus. They seem like actresses.
We left there and were driving. It was a long drive. When we got there, we took three days, but return journey was only one day. The return journey reminded me about this trip. The day we visited Flathead Lake was one week ago. But I felt it was a few months ago, but also I felt it was a few days ago. We stopped at MacDonald near Flathead Lake. Ito-chan and I went to the bathroom, and Mike-san bought a coffee. There was a fruit shop near there. They had huckleberry. Ito-chan bought huckleberries. They were cold and acid. We heard a lot about huckleberry but it was the first time we saw it.
We stopped at the visitor center again, and I bought a book. It was the animals in Glacier. I thought I had to buy it earlier, because the book told me where the good points to see animals were. We left Glacier National Park. I felt really sad. Glacier National Park is the most beautiful place I have ever visited.
We ate lunch at a café. Collin told us they had a good pie. They have home made pies, and their cafe seemed ‘home made’. I ate a hot dog. It was a normal hot dog. It was enough for me. American meals are always very big.
Collin was a good rider. He didn’t sit down enough. He seemed he only hung his left foot on the iron. The horses were walking thin and rough road. But they could walk very well. I thought they could see their hind legs because their hind legs avoided walking on stone. Once, Cowboy went a wrong way and stuck on a little height. I think it was only about 20 centimeter, but it seemed really high. Collin helped me and Cowboy was brave, so I could escape from there. Ito-chan’s horse, Rommi, was small and cute. She seemed very calm. Ito-chan used to learn horseback riding, so she enjoyed, but our horses were only walking, so she said she wanted to run. Collin took our pictures on a plain. I think it was because we were the only customers.
We went back to our hotel. Two-hour was really short. We checked out and left Many Glacier Hotel. When I saw the hotel first, it was spooky, but when I left, it was friendly. I want to stay Many Glacier Hotel one more time.
When we almost reached the goal, we met a family, a mother, a father and a boy. We talked to them a couple of minuets. The lady said that they had seen a bear, and she showed us how the bear was walking. I envied her. She took our pictures. I think she is a good photographer. They had seen moose a few minutes ago, and they told us the point that they had seen the moose. We missed moose, so we decided to go back to see moose. We walked about 5 minutes but we couldn’t find moose. We gave up looking at moose. I guess they might run away because we wore a bear bell. We walked again. It was a little dark. We wanted to go back before dark. We walked very fast. The return journey was still long. Then, Mike-san said we were walking the wrong way. I felt really tired.
We stayed there about 10 minutes and would go back to our hotel. Then, Mike-san said he wanted to go to Ptarmigan Tunnel. Ptarmigan Tunnel is about 1.5 kilometers from the lake. But the elevation is 950 meters. You can see the tunnel from the lake if you use field glasses. All people who came from the tunnel said the view was great from the opposite side of the tunnel. Mike-san said he would go there alone, so Ito-chan and I followed him. I don’t know if it was good or bad, but we could see the goal. We walked on a slope. It was really hard for us, but small animals ran on a steep slope. I sometimes stopped on the trail and had a rest.
Finally, we arrived at the tunnel. It was really high. We looked down Ptarmigan Lake, it seemed really small. The tunnel was only one artificial thing that I saw. We passed through the tunnel and looked at the view. The view was magnificent. It was unlike Iceberg Lake or Waterton Lakes National Park. We were at heights. We enjoyed panoramic view. I felt I was really small in the world. Ito-chan and Mike-san went to the bathroom. The great nature is the bathroom anywhere.
We met a couple of people on the trail. One guy told us where a big hone sheep was. American people are really good at finding animals. Mike-san let me sang a song. I sang Ultraman, and Ito-chan sang a lead-in. “MUNE NI TSUKETERU MAAKUHA RYUSEI～”. I had never sung a song such a big voice. It was like a school hiking.
We walked, walked, walked and walked. Finally, we arrived at PTARMIGAN LAKE. I was exhausted. I sat down on a ground and drank water. We looked at the lake. It wasn’t special. I think if we only see Ptarmigan Lake, it will be beautiful enough. But compared with Iceberg Lake, it was only a lake. We took some pictures and looked at the lake and mountains. A big bird, Mike-san said it was Golden Eagle, was flying.
We ate lunch there. Ito-chan cut the smoked salmon that we bought the first day, and served us. And she gave me bread. We made sandwiches and ate it. The sandwich was cold, and the temperature was very low, but my heart was really hot because of the beautiful lake. A beautiful view is the best main dish.
It was the time to go. When we left there, many people gathered there. I thought we were lucky because we could get there before it became noisy. I left my heart there, and started walking. I looked back and took pictures of the lake several times. Even if I took many pictures, I couldn’t be satisfied. My pictures can’t express how the lake is beautiful.
Some people came back from the lake. It was the sign that our goal was soon. We were still walking. I saw a river and thought that the lake would be over there. Finally, we saw a lake. It was really beautiful!! The lake was green but I couldn’t expect there were seaweed in the lake. The lake was beautiful, but Ito-chan said that it wasn’t the one, which we would like to see. There were two lakes, and that wasn’t Iceberg Lake. We walked for a few minutes, and finally we arrived at Iceberg Lake.
We walked, took pictures and looked at flowers, and we arrived at waterfalls. Some people took a break there. The waterfalls was about 8.8 kilometers from the starting line, but it didn’t seem farther than that. The trail wasn’t hard. There were many big rocks at the waterfalls. I stood on one of the rocks and looked down the waterfalls. The water seemed really cold. It might be frozen during the winter. Some people were eating and drinking something there. All of them seemed happy. I think it was because those people liked walking in the nature. Trees, birds and fresh air heal us.
We arrived at the first rest point. We drank water and went to a bathroom. We only saw a sign of ‘toilet’, but we couldn’t see the toilet. I went up a hill a little, so there was the toilet there. There were two locks; one lock was inside and the other was outside. You have to lock from outside when you leave there, because a bear may use that toilet. There was no electricity, so the inside of the toilet was really dark. When I used it, I kept opening the door. I knew no one looked at me.
First, we drove to Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. We parked the car, went to the bathroom, and started to walk. It was a really cold day. I wore longies, and brought a thin sweater and a jacket. The first part was really hard. Mike-san walked very fast and Ito-chan and I followed him. I couldn’t see views and just watched my steps. Many people walked on the same trail. I thought there were more people, but it wasn’t too much. A man ran down and went somewhere. After a few minutes, I saw a backpack on the trail. I guessed he forgot to bring something and went to pick it up. I was right. He came back soon. Nobody stole his backpack.
On the 25th. We woke up very early, because we had to walk a long trail. When we looked at outside, it was raining. We were disappointed. Anyway, we had breakfast. We had to work hard, so we had breakfast enough. We discussed and decided to change the plan. Our first plan was like this