Our ferry ride to Shodoshima this past weekend was something you can get over really fast here in Japan... everyone wants a picture with Americans. This is one of the many groups of kids that hesitantly approached us in hopes to use some of the English they've learned in school and take our picture while we were relaxing on the ferry.
Of course you have to do the peace sign, right?
Here is the first monkey we saw on Monkey Mountain. His red face really through me for a loop. Honestly, I was buggin' out from the very beginning.
So, it turns out that the monkeys get really wild when you feed them. They are constantly fighting and pinching to get at the food in your hand. This monkey was being particularly rude, which should be clear by the wild look in his eye. Needless to say, I refused to feed him on principle.
This picture was just too cute for me to pass up, even though it took me forever to get a good shot. They warn you not to look the monkeys directly in the eye, and so it becomes pretty hard to get a good photo when your eyes are glued to the ground.
That's Peter inside the cage feeding the monkeys. It seemed pretty bizarre that they had you get in a cage to feed them, but otherwise you were just walking among the monkeys. However, the reasoning behind that became very clear when the monkeys began freaking out about the food. I ended up leaving the cage because they were just too loud and I thought one of them was going to grab my ankles. There are tons of monkeys behind those boards on the ground and they were all fighting with each other. It was seriously nature at its worst.
Once we climbed to the top of Monkey Mountain we decided to hike to this huge Buddhist statue on a trail that was obviously rarely used. We didn't really know what we were doing, but everyone in the group was game and so it turned into a most excellent adventure.
Here is Peter hiking up Monkey Mountain as we began our journey to the statue. Oddly enough the vegetation on the island was different from anything we've seen thus far in Japan. It was strange, it almost had an Arizona feel to it. I loved it.
After a few scrapes and falls in the thick trees we were having to navigate through, we finally made it to the road.
Here are Peter and Kristen looking really tough and tired. We were all very proud of ourselves for conquering that trail.
Once we got to the statue we found out that it is in fact a fully functional shrine and that you are actually able to climb up into it. This is its necklace that we are poking our heads out of. I am not sure we were allowed to open the windows or climb out for that matter, but that is one of the reasons I have refused to learn Japanese. The Japanese are very hesitant to approach foreigners no matter how bizarre our behavior may be. It's a perk.
Meditation is the Dangerford's thing! Japan has really changed us into a new sort of people.
Shelly that last comment was for you I hope you caught it.