Group at Minakami, Gunma: click for gallery

Photo by Dirk.

Last weekend we went up to Minakami, an onsen, or hot spring, town nestled in the mountains of northern Gunma, with three other families, all friends.

The town itself, with the Tone River running through it and snow-capped mountains rising up in the background, was probably quite picturesque in its day, but not surprisingly some rather large and ugly hotels and mansion apartment buildings, and the almost de rigueur “ruins” of abandoned hotels and what-not (see here), have taken the shine off the place.

But no matter, this wasn’t about the town or the hot spring baths at the hotel (call me a philistine but I just don’t find hot springs all that therapeutic, or even relaxing for that matter) so much as it was about getting everyone together in a relaxed setting. It was only after we got back home that it occurred to me that, while we all share a common general life situation (each couple an “international” marriage, each family with one young child), if it weren’t for this blog and for Gary sending me a “can you link to my blog?” email about three years ago, it’s safe to say that Naoko, Kaika and I wouldn’t have been there.

(Click on the above photo for an album of photos from the trip).


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