First stop at the electronics store and Tetsu bought me a new vacuum cleaner. Do you know how much vacuum cleaners cost? (Around $300 for this one and it was middle range. I could have bought one for $900). I realize that that may not sound like much to some people but the last vacuum cleaner I bought (5 years ago) was about $90 so I was surprised at this price. We could have splurged and bought a more expensive vacuum cleaner (all this animal fur to contend with) but since I had been expecting to spend around $150 this was as far as I was willing to go. Now that I've got it I'd better use it!
We made a stop at Tetsu's mother's and she was in a cheery mood because she had gone to the doctor's the day before and they had given her a bag of medicine. I cannot believe how much medication is handed out to people in Japan. The other interesting thing is I've never seen a child-proof cap in Japan either. It is all handed out in foil wrappers and in little bags. Tetsu's mother LOVES dividing up all the different medications (she has at least 10 types) and putting them into little compartments in her drawer and cutting out the labels and taping them to the compartment handles. She also calls the nurse daily to ask if she should take more or less medicine for some symptom that has popped up that day. And no, the nurses don't appreciate being called.
After visiting with Mom, Tetsu and I went to find an onsen (hot spring) that was reported to be in the next town over up in the mountains. We drove for about an hour getting deeper and deeper into the mountains and the road kept getting narrower and narrower, sometimes with barely enough road space for one car let alone for passing on coming cars. I seriously wondered what we were getting ourselves into. The mountains were towering on either side of the road, the road itself was crumbling away on the cliff, the few farm houses we passed looked like from another century.
BUT the onsen was a wonderful place and very modern in a woody sort of way! The baths opened up onto the surrounding mountains and the scenery was spectacular! Although it was icy cold up there in the mountains, sitting in the steaming bath made all the scenery more beautiful and the dark red maple trees were gorgeous. After about an hour Tetsu and I met up again in the lobby area and Tetsu announced that it was the best onsen he'd ever been to and that he wants to come again soon.
Back an hour into town and after a quick dinner (revolving sushi) we stopped at a small park that was having a maple leaf festival. The park was artistically lit up as to show the beautiful colors of the maple leaves to their best. With my little digital and no tripod, you can hardly appreciate the deep colors but it really was beautiful!