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Coming home from a week away and realising you left the lights on…

May 6, 2007

… is a pretty shitty feeling.

Well, this last week was Golden Week in Japan. From Monday to Friday, 3 of them are public holidays, meaning that in the 9 days from one Saturday to the follwing Sunday, only 2 are working days. So, many people take those as holidays and take a break. Probably the most holidays taken during this time than any other time of the year!

Considering Japanese people love to work, and most of them live in Tokyo, I figured this GW would be the ideal time to go to Tokyo to check it out properly, since everyone else would have left. I think that idea kind of worked, though it was still a completely insane crush of people. Any other time of the year, though, and it probably would have been worse!

I just returned last night. It was weird leaving Tokyo in the middle of the day, with all the madness and suits, taking the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo down to Kyoto, and watching the suits slowly dwindle and be replaced by slightly more relaxed looking people, then changing and transferring onto my local train out to the mountains, watching even the relaxed people dwindle, until my stop where I was one of about 4 people left on the train.

It was raining a bit, and it suddenly struck me as I got off the train at night how countryside it really was. I could see stars which I hadn't seen for a week, despite being out and about every night of it. There was a strong sense of rain on trees and leaves, which gave of a really nice peaceful smell and atmosphere, where as the rain in Tokyo just made the smell from the sewers more potent. And the madness of millions of people, cars, trains, pachinko parlours, and basic electronic noise which emanates from every square inch of Tokyo city had been replaced by the chirping and croaking of frogs sitting around in their rice fields.

Today when the sun came up, I saw that summer has begun to arrive. The hills around here are such an extremely vivid green that it's quite amazing. The sakura blooms have all disappeared, and flourished in green leaves, along with the momiji trees which were so purple and red in Autumn, and every other tree that was bare throughout winter. As I drive on the 30 minute drive to my local convenience store, I go through one valley in particular which has hills rising up on each side, and a river running through it. It's where my first banner pic was taken, if anyone remembers it. I was really stunned coming around the corner today and being faced with the extreme green which was absolutely everywhere. It was quite beautiful.

The scenery really is the best thing about living out here. Actually, I guess that's mostly because it's the only thing 🙂 The trip to Tokyo was fun though, and the feeling of returning and relaxing is kinda tainted by the knowledge that I have to go back to work tomorrow 😦

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