Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mt. Aso, the worlds largest...

It's somewhere that way, says my friend with semi-exposed ass. On Sunday a few of us drove to Kumamoto, the neighboring prefecture. The place is known for horse meat (sashimi, of course), and Mt. Aso, the world's largest caldera.
The volcanic opening itself was the most impressive sight. Surrounding the opening are jagged canyons, their violently-cut edges revealing distinct colors and layers of rock. A giant mass of blueish steam wafts near the opening, and when the wind blows strongly, you can catch a glimpse of the bubbling volcanic stew. It's not orange, but blue. It looked perfectly suitable for a afternoon bath.
On the descent I saw Japanese cows for the first time. They were getting fat on these luscious green acres. They had so much room for grazing. The beautiful bucolic farm setting came as a direct contrast to the farms I'm used to seeing in Texas. It reminded me of the book I'm currently reading, Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. He would approve of the farms in Japan, no doubt. And now we know why beef cost so much here.

Now that I've been in Japan for nearly a year, I should be used to the cost of traveling. But I'm still shocked: to go 40km on a highway it cost us $20.

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