Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mid Month Scouting

After two days of rain I heard the fellow teachers talking about the perfect weather in store for today. I wasn't about to let that go to waste going shopping or sitting under my kotatsu rotting away. I fled to the spot I had been thinking about for a week or so.

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Over yonder on that hill side is a old building that looks like a school. The river winds around the back of that little peninsula but it's hard to see that from the picture. It seems to be a rather interesting spot for some exploration. The new road cuts through the hillside on the left so there is hardly any traffic over on the peninsula. There was a gate wide open and I didn't see any 立入禁止 signs (no trespassing). But that placard was attached to the gate in a way that I didn't really see it. I was surprised to find a bunch of cars at the top after walking up the narrow road. It's probably some construction or farming business. I walked back down and hiked up through the forest to get a better look at the back of the area. There was a shed which looked like it was used for manure. A lone wheelbarrow sat near the door was in the warm light. I was too paranoid to go any farther. I'll be back on a holiday or later in the evening when nobody is around.

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Not ready to go home I continued driving just for the sake of driving. I found some new spots that are just begging for further investigation. I must be pretty lazy or I at least make the excuse that I better save it for when I get bored another day. Yes it's best left that way.

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I might be setting myself up to view glorious junk but I can look forward to the discovery of that junk. Plus, the afternoon light wouldn't hold out forever and I wanted to find out where I was actually going.

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Today felt like something very new even with scenery that felt the same. When I think I've exhausted the possibilities I continue to open up new paths. I'm never failed to be surprised in those moments.

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I temporarily ended up in an area I had been several times before. The road had become a little snowy and it was starting to scare me. No, I didn't want to be annoyed if it was so bad I had to turn around. That was the problem. Yet, today proved to be fine after all. This mysterious tunnel with a gate was actually open for a change. Then I remembered it was only for the local mining company. I wonder if it was the actual route back in the day.

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Tunnels whisper in my ear, "Enter and see where I go." Drain tunnels and whatever else always fascinated me. I've been blessed to live in a place with numerous tunnels. The only time it gets old is on the highway bus. Those tunnels make the mind mushy because they don't lead anywhere interesting.

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Whew. To get here was quite the journey. It was certainly one of the more narrow roads I had been on in awhile. It started to make me sick with all the round about turns. I just had to follow this valley and find out where it led. I knew the end point but not what lied between.

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Hundreds of terraced gardens and rice paddies. The winter is too dull on my eyes. I need some life. I made a resolution today. I will capture the fresh green in spring this year which I have failed to do so far.

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All these places have their own taste and flavor. If I only had the time to walk up and down the flights of stairs to numerous decrepit looking shrines and bridges. I always leave them for a reason to come back. Even then it doesn't always happen because I know of what disappointment awaits. It's better left in my fantasy.

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Then in a cleft and hollow of rock something stuck out. It couldn't have worked out better.

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Where else can I go for a random drive and run into a splendid water fall? I always feel a bit of guilt for having decided to leave Japan. The thing is, though, the land won't change much in my presence. I'll look forward to seeing it again after time apart.

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It can be a lonely land out here. But just like the unexpected waterfalls you find unexpected individuals who hold you tight.

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It's February. The months can only get better. Good night dear Shikoku and whatever secrets I still don't know.

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