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      The next day the party returned to Tokio, but, unfortunately for their plans, a heavy rain set in and kept them indoors. Japanese life and manners are so much connected with the open air that a rainy day does not leave much opportunity for a sight-seer among the people. Finding the rain was likely to last an indefinite period, they returned to the hotel at Yokohama. The boys turned their attention to letter-writing, while the Doctor busied himself with preparations for an excursion to Hakonea summer resort of foreigners in Japanand possibly an ascent of Fusiyama. The boys greatly wished to climb the famous mountain; and as the Doctor had never made the journey, he was quite desirous of undertaking it, though, perhaps, he was less keen than his young companions, as he knew it could only be accomplished with a great deal of fatigue.Near the foot of the mountain there are several monasteries, where the pilgrims are lodged and cared for when making their religious visits to the God of Fusiyama. Some of these are of considerable importance, and are far from uncomfortable as places of residence. Our party spent the night at one of these monastic settlements, which was called Muriyama, and was the last inhabited spot on the road. And as they were considerably fatigued by the ride, and a day more or less in their journey would not make any material difference, they wisely concluded to halt until the second morning, so as to have all their forces fully restored. Frank said, "This day doesn't count, as we are to do nothing but rest; and if we want to rest, we must not see anything." So they did not try to see anything; but the Doctor was careful to make sure that their conductor made all the necessary preparations for the ascent.

      PLAYING THE SAMISEN. PLAYING THE SAMISEN."You have only to see the many shrines and temples in all parts of the country to know how thoroughly religious the whole population is, especially when you observe the crowds of devout worshippers that go to the temples daily. Every village, however small and poor, has its temple; and wherever you go, you see little shrines by the roadside with steps leading up to them. They are invariably in the most picturesque spots, and always in a situation that has a view as commanding as possible. You saw them near the railway as we came here from Yokohama, and you can hardly go a mile on a Japanese road without seeing one of them. The Japanese have remembered their love for the picturesque in arranging their temples and shrines, and thus have made them attractive to the great mass of the people.

      "Did you"--he began, and stopped; "did you notice a"--he stopped again.



      "We were rather impatient for the last day, when we could do our shopping and buy the things for our friends at home. There are so many fine things for sale in Canton that it is hard to determine where to begin and where to leave off. A great many people keep on buying till their money is all gone, and some of them do not stop even then.There lay the great Fusiyama, the holy mountain of Japan, which[Pg 207] they had come so many thousand miles to see. In the afternoon the clouds rolled at its base, but the cone, barren as a hill in the great desert, was uncovered, and all the huge furrows of its sloping sides were distinctly to be seen. Close at hand were forests of the beautiful cedar of Japan, fields of waving corn, and other products of agriculture. Not far off were the waters of the bay that sweeps in from the ocean to near the base of the famous landmark for the mariners who approach this part of the coast. Now and then the wind brought to their ears the roar of[Pg 208] the breakers, as they crashed upon the rocks, or rolled along the open stretches of sandy beach.


      "Nearly all the vast crowd in the streets consisted of men; now and then a woman was visible, but only rarely, except near the river-side, where there were some of the class that live on the water. We met some of the small-footed women, and it was really painful to see them stumping about as if they were barely able to stand. Double your fist and put it down on the table, and you have a fair resemblance of the small foot of a Chinese woman; and if you try to walk on your fists, you can imagine how one of these ladies gets along. Some of them have to use canes to balance themselves, and running is quite out of the question. The foot is compressed in childhood, and not allowed to grow much after five or six years of age. The compression is done by tight bandages, that give great pain at first, and sometimes cause severe inflammation.


      The second morning after leaving Yokohama, they were at Kobe, and the steamer anchored off the town. Kobe and Hiogo are practically one and the same place. The Japanese city that stands there was formerly known as Hiogo, and still retains that name, while the name of Kobe was applied to that portion where the foreigners reside. The view from the water is quite pretty, as there is a line of mountains just back of the city; and as the boys looked intently they could see that the mountains were inhabited. There are several neat little houses on the side of the hills, some of them the residences of the foreigners who go there to get the cool air, while the rest are the homes of the Japanese. There is a liberal allowance of tea-houses where the public can go to be refreshed, and there is a waterfall where a mountain stream comes rattling down from the rocks to a deep pool, where groups of bathers are sure to congregate in fine weather. The town stands on a level plain, where a point juts into the water, and there is nothing remarkable about it. If they had not seen Yokohama and Tokio, they might have found it interesting; but after those cities the boys were not long in agreeing that a short time in Kobe would be all they would wish.