Sun and Rain…

It was simultaneously beautifully sunny and gloomily rainy one day earlier in the week. How crazy! Since I’m suffering from massive writers block lately, I’m afraid you’re just going to have to settle for a picture post!

sun and rain

The day started out wonderfully, with sun beating down gently through cool early spring breezes onto tiled rooftops outside my apartment. You can see the “downtown” in the distance.

sun and rain

When I first got here, I really disliked the view out my window, since it looked a bit dumpy and trashy with all the rusting tin walls and drab poured concrete buildings in the backdrop, but over time I’ve come to appreciate the way the sun glints off of the smooth round roof tiles of the neighboring houses.

sun and rain

I feel strange when I see pictures of American houses now – the roofs look so plain and matte with their dull tar flaps and uniformly flat surfaces that absorb the sun and refuse to give it back.

Invigorated by the weather, I headed out for a walk. This stone wall lines the road away from my house – unfortunately this road is quite narrow and filled with blind corners which means that there are several near-accidents every day. The fact that there is a bustling flower-shop (you can see the white delivery van on the right) on the corner doesn’t help matters either – I swear there’s always a flower shipment going out every hour on the dot!

sun and rain

While I appreciate the uniformity of American road surfaces, sometimes the unique mishmash of pavement materials in Japan can be delightful to the eye. This is nothing particularly special, just some random grates on a faux-cobblestone poured concrete street, but it’s very Japanese, and curiously, only used for about a 200 meter stretch of this particular corridor. Afterwards the pavement material switches to something else without explanation or transition. Charming.

sun and rain

I thought I should go for a drive in the mountains, so off I went.

sun and rain

Mmm.. traffic.

sun and rain

It’s not uncommon to see concrete poured down the sides of any exposed mountain or hill surface. Ostensibly it’s to ward against erosion, but in reality it’s just to use up construction money. Whenever I drive along this road, I always feel like I’m approaching an armored bunker or something.

sun and rain

A gigantic silver beetle outside the prefectural bug museum. I didn’t actually go in, because I am squeamishly afraid of bugs and have better things to do with my 450 yen than pay admission to go see a bunch of them in cages, but still, it was a nice spot to take a rest from the winding mountain roads.

sun and rain

The last vestiges of snow melting from the mountains.

sun and rain

As I headed back, I noticed the sky had started to take on that unnaturally light tinge of blue that precedes a full turn into the roiling gray of a thunderstorm.

sun and rain

By the time I got back into downtown, it had already rained a little bit, apparently. You could see little strings of water being flung up by the treads of tires as cars sliced left and right through the intersection.

sun and rain

In a matter of 5 minutes or so, the balance clearly shifted towards a dark rainy evening. You can see the daylight being chased away in the distant horizon.

sun and rain

The final walk back to my house, looking very much a familiar damp Japanese cityscape.

sun and rain

And that was the sunny and rainy day.

Now listening to: Mest – cursed


Your eyes are electric tonight
Despite the condition you lie
Wipe the blood off your lips
With the kiss I taste the goodbye
I taste the goodbye, goodbye

We have cursed this night
The blame placed on my lies
The ambulance cries out
It won’t be long till sirens fill the sky

This is goodbye (we have cursed this night)

9 Reactions

  1. a

    This is lovely! I do wish you’d do more picture posts; the scenes look so different (read: clean/ orderly? :D ) from what I’m used to here. If only I had a flower shop near my door too. Although you say that it lends to quite a bit of activity, I imagine walking past it in the mornings would be a nice way to start the day. While I’m wishing, I wish I were in Japan too. ^_^
    By the way, here’s an interesting gaijin-in-Japan blog. The author does a weekly comic based on a challenge that readers set him. When I saw his most recent post, it reminded me of your previous entry (about how authorities seem to have rather parental qualities), so I thought I’d mention it to you. Cheers!

  2. Kittos

    Seeing so much Japanese urbanity makes my heart go fonder of it.

  3. Ben

    Very nice pictures indeed! It happens to my city a lot too – sun and rain on the same day. Somtimes, it even has SNOW on the same day. It’s really weird.

  4. LH

    You know, I’ve never had much desire to visit Japan, but I’m starting to think I might have been mistaken. Your photos are fantastic!

  5. lizb

    I love picture updates!
    The story behind that potato…
    I was at a friends’ house, and I found a sack of potatoes setting beside the microwave. I took that potato out and held it in my arms and sat down and cried. I cried because it was the cutest thing I’d ever seen in my entire life and I just couldn’t handle it. One of my friends walked in on me in that mess and took that photo. It was a…mildly embarrassing experience.
    I don’t know, I’m crazy sometimes!
    PS I have the cds burned, I just need to finish a few things up and I’ll be done!

  6. moritheil

    You know, this post has made me realize that it’s your use of angles that is particularly brilliant.

  7. momolo

    Ahh, you know there is something definitely wrong with American architecture when we don’t have giant metal sculptures of bugs.

  8. Veronica

    Beautiful photos. I’m enjoying your blog very much. Thanks for the link.
    Best to you,