Sunday, July 27

Mai Taun Izu Dai Suki

Rice field, farm shed and Kasagi-san.

Today was a big fat hot bore, book-ended by a lovely morning and a lovely night.

(The accompanying pictures are from a walk into town last Tuesday.)

Doraemon and Kasagi-yama

This morning I had my English Circle, but instead of class, the ladies took me out to lunch... and then paid me! They're tons of Good Times.

Then I sat around in the heat for several hours. I even braved sitting outside in my bathing suit so I can start my training tan for Shimoda. That is, the two-piece I haven't dared to wear for almost three years (and even then I shouldn't have worn it...). I waited for my next-door neighbor to leave so as not to cause a neighborhood scandal. And I hid behind my car. Facing the house.

I know I can fit, but every time I go under this train overpass I feel the need to duck a little bit.

When the sun finally went down, I threw on the running gear and headed out. One of my ladies had told me about the Hanabi (fireworks) at Enakyo, but I had no one to go with. However, as I ran, I could catch glimpses of them here and there.

Running tonight was such a happy, magical thing. Instead of going down by the river, I decided to go in the opposite direction, ultimately down a local stretch of the Nakasendo. All along the way I was accompanied by the sounds of the fireworks, frogs and crickets in the rice fields, TVs from open windows and doors, and snatches of conversation from the scattering of folk out in the street to watch the distant fireworks. And the whole way smelled of sweet rice plants and cedar. Delicious. Have I mentioned how much I love where I live?

Oops, maybe I can't. I'm taller than 1.6 meters...

New and Old
The dichotomy of Japan.

Old and New
I've got to get me one of those bamboo screens. The morning glories just aren't doing the trick...

When I got back, I felt a little obligated to stop by my neighbor's barbecue since I had walked by twice now. So I ate a little Hida beef and yakisoba and by all means avoided the beer. "Just one beer" was what got me into trouble at that long ago barbecue at his house. With many of the same friends.

Follow the Nakasendo

And now here I am, sending off this blog before bed. Really all I wanted to tell you about was the run and the fireworks. Over rice fields and mountains, over cedar and bamboo groves, over Japanese rooftops. By myself on dark and lonely roads, with three-generation families on the corner, next to the elementary school with several random folk, between clumps of (junior) high kids in the street. Awesome.

I love where I live.


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