The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 16 April 2007

Flowers of spring

Today we had nice weather and the sakura (cherry) trees are (finally) in full bloom up in the Noto so we took a bike ride to a nearby village called Mizuho to a gelato ice cream shop that sells great gelato. I grabbed my camera along because this is our first and last spring in the Noto and I wanted to capture how things look like in spring. Perhaps you can get an idea of the area we live in by the following photos. (By the way, one of my JTEs (Japanese Teachers of English) told me that the Japanese are probably not so excited about the flowers themselves as they are about the binge-drinking that comes with hanami (flower viewing) parties.)

The view from our kitchen door - a tree full of some kind of white flowers (not sakura).

[First photo] I'm standing, camera in hand, on the road just outside our apartment complex's parking lot. Directly opposite the parking lot, there is a footpath lined with sakura trees in full bloom. [Second photo] To my left, the road leads onto the intersection of the 249 Route and the road that goes into the main part of our small inaka town - Rob was cycling in circles while waiting for me to finish up with the camera. [Third photo] To my right is the Ukawa Eki (train station), closed and unused since 2005 - there were some brilliant daffodils growing just outside the eki. Many more daffodils are growing alongside the train tracks opposite the entrance to our complex.

[First photo] This is the road leading to Mizuho, where that gelato shop is located. We'd just emerged from the tunnel that Alex calls the "tunnel of hope" - so-named because this tunnel indicates that home is nearby (usually en route home at night after a long journey from the south), and is visible for quite a distance away at night when it is lit up. Gorgeous scenery as we are led southwards (opposite direction to my school where we enjoy the coastal scene) away from the coast towards the mountains. [Second photo] Enjoying the yummy gelato (flavour: Italian Chocolate) at the gelato ice-creamery in Mizuho located about 6km south from our apartment on the 249.

[First photo] I'm standing on the bridge leading towards town. Sakura trees in bloom lining the river adjacent to our town (about 5 mins walk/30sec bike ride from home). [Second photo] Main part of Ukawa town is the left turn after the bridge

Well, those are all the photos I took. Hope you enjoyed the glimpse of a small and quiet inaka town in Japan during springtime.

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