Due to my life having very few interesting occurrences as of late, as well as the domination of my free time by Skyrim, I haven’t had much worthy of an update. However, we recently enjoyed our Labor Thanksgiving Day here in Japan. It’s basically the same as Thanksgiving in America, but without the oversold myth of Squanto & friendship, and mildly excessive dinner/family gathering. Basically, its just a normal day here off of work. Perfect.
Kanako was in town, so we joined a number of the other teachers in going to Shodoshima, the largest island in my prefecture’s jurisdiction, located about 45 minutes offshore. This place is home to about 35,000 people, a couple teachers like me, olives, and some scenic spots. Our main stop would be the Kankakei Gorge. This is nice any time of year, but during the autumn, hovering high above in a cable car makes for one of the most beautiful sights. We caught the time of year perfectly, and were graced with countless, warmly shaded leaves and dynamic topography. There was a hiking path we could have opted for, but I was feeling lazy, and Kanako was feeling sub par.
This was the sort of view we enjoyed on both sides of the ravine, for the entire length of the ride.
At the top of the mountain, the highest point on the island, we just sauntered about among oodles of tourists, fighting for position at the various photo spots, enjoying some beautiful trees, and also eating some olive ice cream which was strangely both pink and delicious. I attribute that to it not tasting at all of olives. One of the gimmicky attractions was a hoop off the edge of the cliff. If one could fling a clay disk through the hoop, their wish would come true. I failed at all 10 attempts, but I didn’t let it ruin my day, or dreams of the future.
Kanako enjoyed the outing too.
After a bit longer on the summit, we too the cable car back down, to get back to the ferry port and go home. Some people took a taxi, but Ryan, Arryn, and myself opted to run the 5k back to base. We got there in time, though the age and wornoutness of my shoes made itself quite know, with minor foot injury remaining. We were wanting to get back to the mainland to double up on the day by visiting the Ritsurin Park Autumn Light Up event.
The ferry boat we rode on was quite large, and was packed with people and their tour buses. We spent the bulk of our time on the upper deck of the boat, up in the stiff wind. We had to fend off the cold, but we were able to join some kids on a monkey bar-esq pavilion, which made for friendly competition and passing of the time. The boat also offered a fantastic view of the Seto Inland Sea and all of the islands that dot its water.
Once we hit shore, we worked our way over to the garden. I’ve been here a couple times before, but every season seems to bring a different beauty to it. One of the annual events is that throughout November, they open up the park at night, and use colored illumination to accent to beauty of the changing leaves. I missed it last year, so I was happy to make this happen at last. Kanako and I walked around, took some pictures, and eventually met up with the rest of the crew, who had assembled towards the back of the garden.
One of my shots from the light up event.
It was definitely a nice day, in terms of weather, but also of opportunity. Despite having lived here for a 16 months, I had enjoyed neither the island or the autumn season’s Ritsurin.