gmhTODAY 25 gmhTODAY April May 2019 - Page 105

Guglielmo Wine sold in Japan. Day Nine Kaida-Kogen, Yabuhara, Narai, Karuizawa (6.8 miles) After Yabuhara, we climbed to Torii Toge (3,927 feet), which marks one of four protective sites surrounding Mt. Ontake. A train ride took us to the Tsuruya ryokan in Karuizawa for our last night on the road. We celebrated another glorious day walk with a 12-course victory banquet. The extravaganza included FUGU, aka Pufferfish (or blowfish), a Japanese delicacy famously known for its potential to cause paralysis or death if not fastidiously fileted. After some debate about eating the fugu, one of us opted out. Eating around what she thought was the fugu on her plate, she declared, “Not eating it!” “But you just did,” Giorgio said. The thing she’d avoided eating was only a simple garnish. Oh, well, the fugu was delicious. Day 10 Karuizawa, Tokyo (10 miles) After a hearty breakfast, we set out for Usui Toge. After passing stones carved with poetry and secluded villas, we climbed through a beautiful maple forest to Usui (3,871 feet). From there, the view was another active volcano, Mt. Asama, and the Kanto Plain that surrounds Tokyo. Then a bullet train sped us back to Tokyo and civilization. Traveling on foot, meeting people one-on-one, height- ens one’s appreciation for every individual life. Without exception, the people we met in Japan were polite, friendly and generous. “What a privilege it was to learn about Japan. Since our trip, I am trying to practice what I experienced— radical generosity every day in how I greet, meet and Ann Tarlton treat people.” GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN april/may 2019 gmhtoday.com 105