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.
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.
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!
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.
I thought I should go for a drive in the mountains, so off I went.
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.
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.
The last vestiges of snow melting from the mountains.
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.
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.
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.
The final walk back to my house, looking very much a familiar damp Japanese cityscape.
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)