|Wandering the edges of a 'lake' formed by the melting snow at the base of the dunes. An established park with rangers who seem to exist to capture you on film (or SD card), they even have a live camel to act as a photo prop during the summers.|
|One of the problems with visiting a beach town in winter is that you see the surf and realise how awesome it must be to visit in summer. That said, there is also something charming about boats pulled up on shore in the snow.|
I also loved visiting some of the more rural temples and shrines and, of course, enjoying that most Japanese of experiences, Onsen. For those who don't know, onsen are gender segregated public baths much like the Korean jjimjilbang (with the exception of the fact that jjimjilbang can also be slept in and are used more as social clubs than purely as bath houses). As Japan has much more volcanic action than does Korea (which has little to none on the mainland), many traditional Japanese onsen are served by naturally heated springs. They also tend to have outdoor pools - pure bliss on a cold, wet, snowy winter's day. A trip to the onsen is made even more enjoyable by the fact that Japanese houses are traditionally only warmed by space heaters, with all hallways and other such adjoining passages (such as those connecting the bathroom to the general living/sleeping room) left unheated. While I might complain about this being the case with schools in Korea, at least most houses here (though not bathrooms) are heated fully by the underfloor ondol systems.
|Purikura! Also, far too much fun when one has a train to catch.|