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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Refuge

It's early Saturday evening, and I've just finished work. It's been a productive day. In between today's phone calls from students located all over Japan (the majority of whom were training as maritime navigational officers) I've been plodding on with the Access database - it's coming along nicely, and makes for satisfying work. Hopefully I can start testing it by the end of next week.

I've been feeling a little homesick recently. It was sparked by a photo of the valley in which I grew up appearing as my 15-min desktop background. Having been so involved in getting set up here in Japan I'd not focused my attention on England for some time. But the picture brought it all back. I think it was especially poignant as the photo included the wedding venue, that being the wedding which saw many of my most precious friends and relatives gather to share in our marriage ceremony, and demonstrate their faith in us as a couple.

And now they're all elsewhere.

It wasn't just the people though, it was the landscape. I knew that the lack of rolling hills in Tokyo would be perhaps the hardest thing to come to terms with, so I'm not all that surprised that I feel like this. In fact, expecting to feel like this no doubt only served to ensure that I would feel like this!

Still, I've been actively trying to combat this in what ways I can by visiting as many green spaces as possible. As I blogged the other day, there's a beautiful park just down the road from the office. When I mentioned to my colleagues that I'd been there, a lot of them were amazed I'd gone so far: it's a 6 minute walk from the office (I timed it!).

I've yet to explore the whole park as it's so big, but what I have seen of it, I've loved. Looking at it on Google Maps, I can see that in the spring it's a very popular spot for cherry blossom parties - if you zoom in you can see everyone on their blue tarpaulins! (The park is just to the south of the red marker).


Click here for a bigger version

Here's a few photos I've taken over the past couple of days. Not all that remarkable ...but they were taken in central Tokyo.

kitanomura park_0142

kitanomura park_0141

kitanomura park_0149

The park is home to thousands of spiders - here's one I very nearly walked into!

kitanomura park_0145

This poor dog was having quite a job keeping up with the little girl on roller blades!

kitanomura park_0150

purple flowers_0101

So yes, these little outings into nature do help, as does the fact that we actually live right next to a park ourselves, where the main sound we hear is running water and birdsong.

Anyhow, although I've got a lot to talk about, I'd best be off. My sister-in-law's birthday today.

Our Internet is being reconnected on Monday after a three week break so I should be able to get back in to blogging then. The ISP said they couldn't just switch it back on their end when the contract was renewed as we needed a different type of modem, which arrived yesterday, and is identical to the one we already have!

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Thomas said...

The park is home to thousands of spiders - here's one I very nearly walked into!

BURN IT! BURN IT WITH FIRE!

What with this going on, I think maybe I should just buy Iceland and move there. shudder.

19/10/08 00:22  
Blogger Dateline Osaka said...

Aw, I know what you mean about homesickness...For some reason it's hitting me hard as Autumn kicks in. It's great that it's good memories you have, though! Something really special to cherish. ^_^

Beautiful pictures of the park, btw. It's inspired me to go back to Osaka Jo Koen once the leaves have turned. Should look extra beautiful by then!

19/10/08 05:51  
Anonymous Amelia said...

And yet, every time I read your posts about life in Japan I curse myself for choosing to stay in England a little longer. : )

Good job with the running! I hate running, but am going to buy myself a bicycle in half term. If I can learn to cycle confidently through Central London, anything is possible! (Plus I'd save a LOT of money on train fees...)

20/10/08 06:18  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thomas: and there was me thinking you were an animal lover!

Dateline Osaka: thanks for your message, glad to help move you towards visiting the castle park!

Amelia: Bicycle sounds like a great idea! Central London must be OK these days what with all the investment in bike lanes. Go for it!

20/10/08 22:58  

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