Japan in Summer

Summer vacation this year took me down to the cities of Osaka and Nara in the middle of Japan, and then up to the northern island of Hokkaido. We camped, slept in capsules, dug out hot springs, barbecued, rowed across a lake, and generally had all sorts of fun. Here's a sample of the trip.

Eric wades through lake Kussharo, the largest lake in Hokkaido. The lake is actually a massive volcanic crater that is home to the legendary creature Kusshii. Though I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this legendary dino-creature isn't going to surface any time soon.

Eric wades through lake Kussharo, the largest lake in Hokkaido. The lake is actually a massive volcanic crater that is home to the legendary creature Kusshii. Though I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this legendary dino-creature isn't going to surface any time soon.

The Five-Story Pagoda of Kofuku-ji, a temple in Nara. 

The Five-Story Pagoda of Kofuku-ji, a temple in Nara. 

This is one of the famous deer that live among the temples and shrines of Nara. If you feed the deer, they chase after you. I do not believe there is an elegant way to do this.

This is one of the famous deer that live among the temples and shrines of Nara. If you feed the deer, they chase after you. I do not believe there is an elegant way to do this.

A wooden wall at Kofuku-ji in Nara.

A wooden wall at Kofuku-ji in Nara.

Iozan, a mountain in Hokkaido, constantly emits sulfur gas, creating these yellow formations. 

Iozan, a mountain in Hokkaido, constantly emits sulfur gas, creating these yellow formations. 

Eric braves the smell.

Eric braves the smell.

Back in Osaka, I stayed at a capsule hotel. It looked like a space station. And yes, I was able to fit inside. Surprisingly comfortable.

Back in Osaka, I stayed at a capsule hotel. It looked like a space station. And yes, I was able to fit inside. Surprisingly comfortable.

Fields and mountains covered the landscape in Furano, Hokkaido. 

Fields and mountains covered the landscape in Furano, Hokkaido. 

Both fields and mountains covered the landscape in Furano, Hokkaido. Will takes pictures of Furano from a moving train.

Both fields and mountains covered the landscape in Furano, Hokkaido. Will takes pictures of Furano from a moving train.

Lake Kussharo. We barbecued on this dock. It was a bit too cold to swim, but we rowed a boat 4km out to a massive island in the middle of the lake. All told, a lovely summer vacation.

Lake Kussharo. We barbecued on this dock. It was a bit too cold to swim, but we rowed a boat 4km out to a massive island in the middle of the lake. All told, a lovely summer vacation.