27th May 2013


Caution, no bears in sight

“This is a Mandarin duck. And that is bear faeces. The bark of this tree has been clawed by a bear. This is a bear paw print. This mushroom is good for rashes, but you can’t take it out from this place.” I, along with another lady dressed in inappropriate attire nodded dutifully as Ayano Yuji (my guide through the lakes and a friend of Yamanoto in Iruka) spoke and made exclamations when needed. He conveys the wealth of information in slow, halting English, all of which I appreciated. My interest in ducks, admittedly, is restricted to the Peking duck on a dinner table so his ability to point out...