Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Yudanaka Onsen





Over Valentine's Day Weekend, Ryan and I took a trip up north to Nagano. The main objective was to see the snow
monkeys, which I have been dying to do since I was little, so we looked for an Inn closeby the monkey park. We took
a little shaky local train out to the end of the line, Yudanaka station: the closest civilized area near the monkeys.
These photos are from our first late afternoon and evening after arriving in Yudanaka. We dropped our bags off at our
Ryokan and headed out to explore the cute little town and beautiful mountain surroundings. It started snowing as the sun
sank lower, and turned into a steady blizzard that lasted all night and the whole next day.

I was so so excited to see so much snow- it doesn't really snow in Tokyo at all, and if it does it hardly sticks, so
winter, as I'm used to, coming from mountainous Utah, and most recently crazy snowpocalypse New York, has been kinda
lame. It was so charming to see all the snow covered trees and little old buildings and shrines with several inches
of snow lining every surface. When winter is snowy and pretty I can't get enough of it. I kind of wish we could move
to Nagano now...







I've been wanting to photograph this sweater for a while, and I kept waiting for some outdoorsy, piney, mountainy
scenery to go with the vibes. Nagano was a perfect place. I first saw this sweater waaaaay back in October or
November and fell in love with the mountains and trees print and the quality of the fabric and the color scheme.
It was, of course, way out of my budget....well I mean I could have gotten it if I didn't want to buy another single
thing for the next month or two....and I don't like making commitments like that so I didn't...

I kept coming back to check on it....gaze at it....hold it in my hands, sigh, and put it back. Like maybe 5 or 6 times.
(This is the story of my life here in Japan...)Then the crazy January sales came and I waited and waited, and even
checked out three different locations selling it. And one serendipitous evening in Parco, at the end of January, right
after enjoying the Pikachu cafe with Ashley and Siobhan, I checked for the sweater and there it was- 70% off- angels
singing, and light beams shining down. It was the only one left, and in my size. And so I snatched it up and have been
wearing it a ton. The light faded so fast that evening and we had entered a forest path that became much darker with all
the surrounding trees, so there unfortunately was hardly enough light left to get decent photos of the sweater and good details
etc., but really I was just happy to be wearing it in the mountains, like I feel like it was meant to be.



Stay tuned for more photos of the monkeys and our hike through the most beautiful snowy forest. I've got a mix of phone photos, film photos that still need to be developed, and dslr photos, so the posts might be a little all over the place. I need to finish my film roll before I can even process the nagano shots, for one thing! Follow my adventures on instagram to a get a little closer to real-time peek into life in Japan. Sometimes I feel like blogging takes too long these days, and why even bother? Instagram is so much more streamlined, and more people seem to be involved on that platform. hm.

From Japan,


  1. Ohh winter looks so magical in the snow! We don't get that in the southeast. It makes me want to move to Nagano too!


  2. when I saw these pics on Instagram I thought "Kathryn must be in heaven with all that snow." This place looks beautiful! Cannot wait for you to post more pics of the snow monkeys.

  3. Just found your blog through Instagram (I followed you on there :)) & I’m obsessed with it. I’m pretty much stalking all your posts right now & I followed you on Bloglovin’. Nagano looks so serene. I really regret not spending longer in Japan & making the trip to Nagano. Those snow monkeys would have been so cute to see & I would have loved to have been able to hike through the snow covered mountains.
    Anyway, really looking forward to more posts from you!


  4. Beautiful photographs, as usual! I sort of feel the same about blogging vs instagram...people seem more involved on instagram, but I also feel like the connection is a little lost in that you can't get a good sense of who someone is. I find with blogs I'm able to share more about myself through my writing, and I enjoy reading others blogs for the same reason. You just can't really get a sense of someone on instragram through short captions and pictures.

  5. Amazing speechless pics from Nagano! I saw them first on Instagram, but nothing can beat the storytelling of the pics together and the format of your own blog :) so I knew I had to come here as soon as I had some time to enjoy it. Love to read also your story going along about the snow and the super cute jumper!