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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ohhhh, Rocky!

I saw a website the other day purporting that Japan is made up of 70% mountain.

Don’t you believe it.

It’s actually 73%.

While there is a mountain range running through each of the four main islands of Japan, the Japanese Alps (日本アルプス, Nihon Arupusu) consists of three major mountain ranges across the main island of Honshu: the Hida Mountains, Kiso Mountains and the Akaishi Mountains.

The Japanese term Nihon Arupusu… well, Nihon, Nippon and Japan are “basically” interchangeable ways of saying Japan.
  • Arupusu… that’s the Japanese katakana alphabet way of saying “alps”… arupusu: ah-ru-poo-su… say it quickly, and that’s who the Japanese will say “alps” in English.  That’s why the Japanese can be speaking English and you may still have a difficult time understand all of their English words. 
  • Hida Mountains - aka the Northern Alps stretches through the prefectures of Nagano, Toyama and Gifu-ken, with a wee bit going into Niigata-ken.
  • Nigano-ken is home to the Central Alps aka the Kiso Mountains, while the Southern Alps (Akaishi Mountains) run through Nagano, Yamanashi and Shizuoka-ken.
Anyhow… 73% mountainous… and I still never saw Mt. Fuji—the tallest mountain in Japan—even when I was standing right in front of it. Or was I behind it? It’s so hard to tell with mountains.

Andrew Joseph.
PS: Rather than surrender, Japanese soldiers on the island of Saipan did, during WWII, jumped off a local mountain side yelling banzai. Originally meant as a salute of “Long live the Emperor!” it is better known as an all-out attack cry… or in this case, death before dishonor.
PPS: The title is of course a line from the Rocky Horror Picture Show musical. While I look great in fishnets, I have never dressed up in drag to see the show live. I dressed up for Halloween, by the way and not for any lifestyle choice. To each his or her own, though.
PPPS: The above image was plucked from ... yes... a cycling website... a Japanese cycling website showing the Japanese Alps.
Now, I'm no expert when it comes to cycling, but wouldn't cycling the snow-covered alps, as depicted in this WINTER scene (according to the website) just be nuts? I'm just saying, is all...  

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