…because if you do, this might happen.
We planned our stay in Japan strategically so that we’d be in Kobe for Tyler‘s birthday. The celebration was supposed to consist something rather simple. At our first stop, Tyler introduced us to our first taste of Japan’s Ippudo, which was followed by a sake (sake!) tasting at a spot owned by one of Tyler’s students.
The clock was slowly turning past midnight and Tyler’s last train was fast approaching. To prolong our merriment much longer, we bought some beers and carried on outside the station. Minutes ticked away, and we tried to entice Tyler to stay out longer with numerous propositions — more beer? dancing? another jug of sake? Then came the magical two words, which would totally change the course of events for the rest of the evening: night hike! Genius? At least to the ramen/sake/beer induced.
After a couple pit stops to pick up some of the necessities for such an excursion: flashlights, raincoat,takoyaki, chocolate croissant, beer, and sake in what looked like cardboard juice boxes (complete with cellophane enclosed plastic straw) we were on our way.
Step by step we started climbing the mountain as Tyler told us a story about how him and his brother did the same hike back in September and since no one was around, they climbed over the fence and swam in the waterfall. The waterfall is not meant for swimming, but it made for such an adventurous story. It was presumably much warmer at that time, but the thought that we could accomplish something similar eeked into our thoughts.
Damp, a bit drunk, and dizzy with enthusiasm we approached the waterfall, and with little hesitation (but much profanity) we jumped in. The water wasn’t cold — it was frigid, freezing, and almost instantly numbing — but oddly refreshing. Take that Polar Bears!
Wary of hypothermia, we took some obligatory pictures (because otherwise we could just be making all this up) donned our already wet clothes (it was raining the whole time) and continued up the mountain. No biggie.
The rest of the hike up to the top was enough to warm us up again and we celebrated our arrival at the peak by snapping some memorable group self shots and checking out the night sky line all while breaking into our sake juice boxes — a well deserved libation.
Our descent from the mountain kept us on our toes because Tyler warned us about the wild boars that were known to roam about and that he encountered once. We heard a rustle in the woods and Tyler saw one dart below us — but the two of us didn’t see it. Phew! It was probably better that way — those things are scary!!
Once back in the city and almost at the hotel, we were on a icicle high from our plunge, but then we saw this:
and to continue in the spirit of the night — we went in. Though the second hand cigarette smoke steadily flushed out all our fresh mountain-air cleansed lungs, the beats and people watching kept us dancing.. and dancing some more despite the fact that many of the other club-goers were merely swaying at a much slower rate. Contrary to all this, the birthday boy himself was cajoled into a few quick steps and spins with one excited fellow (as pictured above). A couple of twirls later we were ready to call it a night… or was it morning at that point?
Happy Birthday Tyler!!