As much as I love Tokyo, Gero is the kind of place I'd want to live if we ever move to Japan. It's rural enough to be peaceful all the time and connected enough to get into a bigger city like Osaka.
It encapsulates all the charm of Old Japan that initially drew me to the culture.
It was eerily quiet walking around the first day before checking into our hotel.
I can't remember what time we got there, I think it was afternoon on a Tuesday, so maybe every body was at work, but it was so quiet you could really lose yourself.
izakaya alley way
a girl coming from school on her bike
one of my favorite shots from the first day at Gero (above)
a bit of Al's head in the fore-right
You can't see it from here, but there is a nude man bathing
in the natural hotspring by the riverbank!
There was a short embankment that covered the naked people
out of sight from the kids at the park.
It was pretty funny, since he was in plain sight of people above on the bridge, and we watched people's expressions as they noticed the naked man butt below.
Gero is wonderful for many reasons, but if you go you'll find there is a lack of Western tourists.
Which is kind of nice if you've been to Kyoto or Shibuya; in certain spots there seem to be less actual Japanese people.
But that enters in to the discussion of whether or not you are avoiding "your own kind" when on vacation.
I mean, I'm used to being around an eclectic mix of ethnicities every single day.
So when in Japan I'm fascinated by the opposite experience.
However, I'm sure when you live there it becomes a bit of an identity crisis?
Maybe 'crisis' is harsh. Anyway, won't know until it happens.
Al, what do you think? 兄さんどう思う？