Kawamoto on a Whim…

Recently, I’ve had less free time for spontaneous exploration of Kawamoto-town as my schedule has filled up with teaching, club activities, and time with friends. I’ve found that the best times for taking off on my bike have been early mornings and lunch breaks.

The surrounding mountains are covered in fog until about 8:00am this time of year. I’ve discovered a mountainside grave site near my apartment which has served as an excellent morning-time yoga spot:

I even have enough time in the mornings to make my lunch, which means I can utilize my hour-long lunch break for travel rather than food prep. Last week I happened upon a beautiful half-hidden park in a neighboring town:

I stopped by a friend’s backyard orchard on the way and picked up some fresh figs and persimmons. Delicious!

In the same park there is a little “beach” along a tributary to the Gonogawa River. It provides a perfect example of the Japanese response to riverbank erosion: just fill up some nets with stones and toss them into the river… For all the attention the Japanese pay to aesthetic, I am baffled to find this kind of approach to “controlling nature” everywhere.

I’ve found this spot to be immensely conducive to afternoon napping, which may prove a bit risky as my lunchtime escapades become more frequent…and as my coworkers continue to consume their bento boxes in about 7 minutes while sitting at their desk…

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