We all love our weekend retreats to Minakami. But, perhaps, none of us more than Pippi. In Minakami, Pippi gets to be a Real Dog. She walks off leash, exercises her nostrils, chases stuff and snoops around freely. In short, all the restrictions imposed by city life simply vanish and her inner Queen of the Forest persona comes to the fore as you can see in the photo above.
Yesterday, while the mountain people we live with were hitting the slopes (make that singular since there was only one open run at Kagura), Pippi and I headed for the hills too. Up and down we climbed, following the access road into the woods and then out again into civilization. We even did a little bush-whacking when the trail petered out. No sightings of bears or wild monkeys.
We ended our trek at the apple orchard just a few hundred feet from our house. We loaded up on apples (5 kilos of Fujis) and a bag of frozen chestnuts, rice-cooker ready. As “service” for our purchase, we received three, yellow-skinned Ourin apples. Pippi and I shared one as soon as we got home.
Walking back from the orchard, the mountain behind our house looked as if it were balding.