あおあお5号 特集「夜がきた」
aoao vol.5

山小屋は早寝早起き


西日本第二の高峰、剣山(一九五五メートル)の頂上まで。霧の中、出迎えてくれた山小屋『剣山頂上ヒュッテ』の食堂は、すでに晩ごはんを食べる登山客で賑わっていた。ザックを下ろし、宿の手続きを済ませて、空いている席へ。アメゴの唐揚げや自家製こんにゃくが入った煮物など、一汁三菜の手づくり料理が運ばれてきた。炊飯器から自らご飯をよそって、いただきます。午後遅くから登りはじめた約2時間の登山の疲れも、あったかい雰囲気のおかげですぐに癒された。

宿泊客がみな食事を済ませてしばらくすると、三代目の新居智次さんは入り口の戸を開けて「友行さーん」と叫ぶ。すると、山小屋のすぐ隣にある剣山本宮の管理人、友行幸一さんが顔を出し、慣れたように厨房へ。中では新居さん家族と従業員とご近所さんとで囲む夕食がはじまった。団らんの楽しげな笑い声が食堂に漏れる。食堂には、山の写真集などを眺める宿泊客がぽつりぽつりと静かに座り、夜が更けるのを待っている。

「はいよ!」と掛け声が聞こえてきたかと思うと、食事を終えた厨房では掃除がはじまっていた。「はい、こっちにも!」とデッキブラシを持った三代目が声をかけると、従業員さんが床に勢いよく水を撒く。奥さんたちは食器や調理道具を手慣れた早さで片付けていく。これで一日の仕事は終わり。新居さんたちもそれぞれ就寝の準備に入る。

宿泊客はもう部屋に戻り、厨房の明かりも消えた食堂ではテレビの音だけが小さく流れていた。“9時消灯 夜は静かに”。貼り紙のとおり、夜9時を過ぎると宿はいっそう静まり返り、降り出した雨の音が響いていた。

ENGLISH
Early to bed and early to rise in the mountain lodge

I climbed to the top of Mt. Tsurugi (at the height of 1,955m), which is the second highest mountain in Western Japan. In the mist, Tsurugi-san Chōjō Hyutte, a mountain lodge on the summit, welcomed me. The dining room was already full of climbers waiting for dinner. I put down the backpack, completed the registration procedure and took an unoccupied seat at the table. A home-made dinner of one soup and three dishes such as fried amego trout and simmered vegetables and home-made konnyaku (devil’s tongue) with soy source was served. I scooped some rice out of the rice-cooker into my rice bowl myself and began eating. My fatigue accumulated by about two hours of mount-climbing that had started late afternoon soon disappeared because of the warm atmosphere.

Then, sometime after all the guests finished their dinner, Mr. Tomoji Nii, the third generation of the family running this mountain lodge, opened the entrance door and called, “Tomoyukiii”. Then, the caretaker of Tsurugi-san Honguu shrine, Mr. Tomoyuki Koichi, appeared and entered the kitchen as he was used to. Mr. Nii, his family members, employees and the neighbor started their dinner. Their happy laughter in the kitchen could be heard from the dining room. Meanwhile, some of the overnighters of the lodge came into the dining room, sit there and appreciated the pictures of the mountain. Dawn was long in coming for them.

“OK!” When I heard the word, they had already started cleaning the kitchen after finishing their dinner. “Here, too, please!” as the third generation with a deck brush asked, another member sprinkled water onto the floor vigorously. Female members stored plates and other tableware as well as cooking utensils in order quickly and neatly. Then, all the work was finished on the day. Mr. Nii and other staff members started preparing for sleep.

The lodgers in the dining room had already returned to their rooms and only a small TV sound was heard in the dark room. “Lights out at 21:00! Please be quiet during night time.” As the poster asked the lodgers, there was only silence after 21:00 and we could hear the sound of rain very clearly.

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