I’m not sure how exactly this happened, but I’m going up Fuji again tomorrow night. This time, of course, I will pack less food and more clothing, take a few more pictures, and get my stick stamped. This morning it occurred to me that it would be difficult to get a 5’2″ hiking stick onto an international flight, so I spent a good deal of the morning expanding my practical Japanese skills by trial and error in search of a hardware store or plumbers’. Amazingly enough, these are not things Japan apparently has in abundance, despite the omnipresent construction. But I now know the words for plumbing system, diameter, plus, pipe, and so forth, and I do in fact have a 5′-some-inch PVC pipe. Best of all (and this may sound strange to those of you who don’t study the language) no one complimented me on my Japanese! That made my morning, right there.

Although I’m quite sad to leave Japan, I’ll be back in the states Sunday. Technically, I arrive before I leave, so I’ll finally get that lost day back, and have an easier time with the jetlag. I have a hunch that Fuji will aid my sleeping on the plane. Of course, a return to the states means the return of internet, and pictures will follow. I haven’t taken so many, but they’ll come in a flood. Be warned.