As the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.” This is true in many things in life, including road trips. And in this case, and in this road trip, “the end” meant a small sleepy backwater town in Fukui prefecture on the backside of Japan that up until a couple years was famous (and I use the term lightly) for little more than fishing and making chopsticks. And believe me when I tell you that if you’re a town in Japan and all you have going for you is fishing and chopsticks, well, then you’re in trouble.
I first heard about the Helvetica Moleskines when they were offered at an exhibit on Helvetica at the La Foret museum in Harajuku a year or two ago. I really, really wanted to attend, but alas, this stupid thing they call work that lets me pay the bills prevented me from making it in time, and the exhibit closed, and with it my chance to lay hands on one of these precious notebooks. And for a while, that seemed like it was it. A few copies floated around here and there, but it always seemed like just a few too many hoops to jump through for a notebook (as much as I wanted one).
I did manage to work in a quick trip to Nikko as a sort of consolation prize, which was nice. By the time we made it to Nikko (in the first week of December), most of the Autumn leaves had already fallen, which was kind of sad. Nikko is really beautiful in the Autumn, if you can survive the jaw dropping crowds, so I kind of regret that we didn’t make it there during the prime viewing season. All was not completely lost, however. There were still a few isolated spots of colour here and there, and when we first arrived the sky was a brilliant blue and the sun was shining down from up on high, making for a perfect akibare (“clear autumn weather”) type of day. So at least we got a small dose of those oranges and reds I do love so.