Sunday, August 19, 2012

Had a longer, but slightly-less eventful walk this Sunday.

Taking advantage of my convenient placement close to the rural Oga Line, I hopped a short train to Wakimoto, the next village over, and hopped out to see what I could see.

Unfortunately, as it turned out, this didn't turn out to be a huge lot-- although not far from the station, I did find this automated rice-hulling kiosk (¥100/10kg) – which should tell you the kind of bustling metropolis I'd found myself in.


Not a soul around on a Sunday afternoon-- and why should they have been, as the temperature had to be 30/86 at least, with Akita's trademark humidity in full force. Someone had crocheted all of the Buddha images outside a small local temple some fantastic, vaguely Rastafarian hats in anticipation of winter, though.1

By the time I'd worked through my packed lunch and all of my water, I'd made a 3km circle without seeing much of anything particularly photogenic or meeting a single other soul. The next train wouldn't be arriving for another hour and a half. Nothing for it-- I spent ¥120 of my train fare on a bottle of Pocari Sweat and set out along the road parallel to the tracks.

Even in the heat, I still saved both time and money by walking, as it turned out. I made the 4 klicks back to Funakoshi in a little over half an hour, and had enough time to get 5 days of groceries from the AMANO by the time I heard the inbound train passing me on its way home.2

Feeling much less sticky after a cool shower, I was just in time to meet Ms. Furuyama at my door, come by to drop off another of life's essentials-- a fax machine, as it turned out.3

Pleasingly the multi-chapter owner's manual turned out to be much more comprehensible than I had feared. Sure is nice being (minimally) literate.

Plus the box was a chortle.

By the time the noodles for my homemade Chinese-style cold ramen (冷やし中華, hiyashi chūka) had chilled to perfection, I had the fax in one piece and ready to exchange Important Documents. Time once again for blogging. 


1There being a possibly-related folktale about a man who is visited by the bodhisattva Jizō, (ordinarily the guy in charge of aborted fetuses, travelers, and the damned) and rewarded with great riches after giving his images hats to tide them through a snowstorm.
2Paid in sweat though. I'd soaked through both my shirts by the time I reached the supercenter. Looks like I got a nice tan through my sunscreen too. Heck, I'll fit in better-- all the kids around here are tonkatsu-sauce brown by the end of summer break.
3One of Japan's most charming eccentricities, (though one strangely ignored by Lafcadio Hearn), being their continued use of this obsolete technology at a greater rate than any other country on earth. Most all of what we do with email in Christendom, I will be asked to do with fax from here on. Ours is not to question why...

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