AGGM O/65's - Days 6 & 7 - MJS Tour
Sunday 12th & Monday 13th May 2013
By late afternoon Hockey is done for the day and there's just a short bus ride from Yamanashi to the town of Isawa Onsenkyo, where our seventies team check in to Hotel Sekitei and we arrive at Hotel Kohakuen. Here we find ourselves in traditional Japanese accommodation - an Onsen Ryokan. Shoes are off at the door of our tatami-rooms with small bath tub, and futons for bedding. The less inhibited take advantage of the cleansing experience of the onsen (hot springs). We are invited to dinner at Hotel Sekitei and change into kimonos for the occasion. On arrival in the hotel foyer, Team 70's have formed a line of honour and applaud us in the local custom. We sit in traditional Japanese style, seated at floor level, with low tables which are adorned with sushi, miso soup, sukiyaki, tempura, sashimi, and teppan-yaki to be self-cooked at the table in individual micro-burners. At the culmination of this wonderful feast, there is a group of sextuagenarian hockey tragics that has sat on the floor for two hours and who struggle with their creaking joints to resume an upright posture ! Bathing in hot springs back at Hotel Kohakuen beckons for some ! We slumber on the futon bedding and next morning assemble for breakfast - there is no queue !!! We're sitting on the bus awaiting departure, but two are missing. We twiddle our thumbs for a while and, finally, Lord and Lady Thomson arrive with the clear impression that the fifteen minute call before final departure time does not apply to them !!! We're back on the road again, bound for Fukui stopping close to Okaya city, prominent in the silk industry, and overlooking scenic Lake Suwa. Then on again past paddy fields and small half-hidden cemeteries on the hillside - Mike "Guru Coach" Craig rumours that these small, beautifully kept cemeteries are very popular and that people are dying to get in to them! The snow-capped mountain ranges are breathtaking as we make our way along the valleys with small lakes and more rice fields, some apple trees, then through the tunnels and out again into the sunshine until we arrive at Fukui where we are back on the hockey field tomorrow.