#3978

Spring is coming in Oku Nikko

Back to basics..

Dave had been stocking up a stash of Belgian beers for several years. That’s right – years. A connoisseur was Dave; knew what he liked and savoured produce at its optimum. Mind you, the Dave that was, still is.

He had been making lunchtime runs from work to the international supermarket, almost daily, for weeks before the trip. Picking up a salami here, a slab of Brie there. He’d got the Brie a little before the expiry-date at half price.

“Good Brie tastes better a bit older”, he said.

And he was right.

Dave loves the outdoors. He is a photographer. He’s a hunter, of sorts, camping out alone in remote places. Seeking out that epic photo of a sunrise over craggy coastline, or even stalking a Brown Bear in the Yukon. He is an Aikido master.

We all met at Nerima station early one brisk morning in Spring. There was Irish-Pat, Ollie, Dave, Patrick, and me. Five men on a trip to man freedom.

Dave had packed two big coolboxes in the back of his Subaru. One was chock-full of food. The other was our precious cargo of aged Belgian beers.

We all piled into the Subaru.

Dave stomped on the gas.

As the expressway gave way to rice fields, then lonely winding mountain roads, we eventually found ourselves in front of a rustic two-storey log cabin that was cloaked in Spring growth.

Once we’d all laid claim to our respective sleeping quarters, we set about the task of preparing a fire and the evening’s meal. We made the barbecue in front of the hut … and cracked a beer.

We had fifty beers.

Fifty fine Belgian beers.

We rationed out the beers for the evening. Ten beers each.

Quite a few of them were double-brewed. They were each, on average, about 8% alcohol by volume. Dave had set us a purposeful order to what could have been rampant beer swilling – we started light, and ended heavy. We had the Brie for this beer, a strip of sirloin for that one. You get the picture; food-beer structuring.

Oku-Nikko gets way colder than Tokyo during Spring. We lit another fire to keep us warm outside… and perhaps to answer primitive calls from within. Red meat, Belgian beers, fire and nature are going to drag out your inner caveman.

As I stared into the fire, I imagined we were something like Native Americans acting out an age-old ritual. Each of us humming our own Peyote song. Or, Belgian-beer song. In a way, we were dancing once again to the ancient tune that we had stopped listening to, or perhaps could no longer hear against the noise of the city we lived in.

I sniffed a lung-full of the brisk night air and swigged my Chimay. Somehow, I’d found myself again. I was back home in the wild.

Glen Young

scramjetmach9 image

scramjetmach9

Australia

scramjetmach9's other advice

Cherry Blossoms... desu images

Cherry Blossoms... desu

The reports are in... March 22 in Tokyo for the pink flowers. Yoyogi Park is big and fun. I would also suggest checking out the outlying parks of Tokyo. Showa Kinnen Koen offers a stunning array…

We call this paradise images

We call this paradise

There are parts of Japan that are still a relic. Indications of the Bubble "Jidai" are easily accessible places on the map, by their very nature, many rail roads go to them.Some of these places a…

Japan's Hidden Onsen images

Japan's Hidden Onsen

Japan’s Hidden Hot SpringsYokoso! Welcome!Japan is a country consisting of 4 main islands; Honshu (main Island), to the North is Hokkaido (Northern Sea Island), Shikoku (Fourth Country) and Kyush…

Summer in Hayama images

Summer in Hayama

Hayama is located on the bottom side of the Miura Peninsula, between the cities of Zushi and Yokosuka. This quiet seaside community has been a popular home for actors, businessmen, and wealthy expats…

You might also like

I was born in Osaka Japan and Here is My View images

I was born in Osaka Japan and Here is My View

Let me compare Tokyo and Osaka in terms of culture by using a metaphor of kitchen accessory. Tokyo is "Sponge". It soaks up all kinds of information and people are somehow drawn to this metropoli…

yumin image

yumin

I opened a craft beer bar in Tokyo images

I opened a craft beer bar in Tokyo

I recently opened a new craft beer bar in Tokyo and I thought an article re the process of this would be interesting. After the forced closing of my previous beer bar in Aoyama (the building was …

Adstev73 image

Adstev73

Why Do Japanese People Call Mt. Fuji, Mr. Fuji? images

Why Do Japanese People Call Mt. Fuji, Mr. Fuji?

If you wondered why Japanese people refer to Mt. Fuji as Mr. Fuji, you are not alone.When I first came to Japan, and actually until about two years ago, well okay, actually it still happens a lot…

 image

10 Helpful Tips For When You Go Into a Japanese Onsen images

10 Helpful Tips For When You Go Into a Japanese Onsen

Are you getting ready to take a trip to an Onsen Hot Spring in Japan?As an onsen-loving Senpai, allow me to provide you a few tips on how to be absolutely prepared before braving the nakedness an…

 image

Where History Meets Art in One Tokyo Landmark images

Where History Meets Art in One Tokyo Landmark

There's no shortage of art galleries in Japan, but in upscale old-school Ginza, there's one that goes back, waaaaaaaaay back.The Okuno Building, built in 1932, was originally constructed to serve…

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

5 Traditional Japanese Villages to Explore images

5 Traditional Japanese Villages to Explore

The rural area of Japan is quite worth an exploration. Many villages in Japan have typical Japanese styles. Although they are quite far away from big cities, you can enjoy enchanting natural views an…

Alexlovetravel image

Alexlovetravel