I woke up in the middle of the night from the sounds of rain: finally! Heat makes me tired and I was dreaming a lot lately about mountains covered in snow, icy air, snow melting in sunny spots, water dripping.
One of our favourite experiences while in Japan was a little hike through the snowy mountains between the villages of Kurama and Kibune, only half an hour train trip away from Kyoto. We visited Kurama-dera and several other shrines on the way, had really special shojin-ryori (temple food) meal at Yoshuji and soaked in Kurama onsen, surrounded by mountains. I remember vividly the steam rising from the hot mineral bath, the snow melting on the thatched roof above, drops falling into the water from the roof edge, silence.