An Autumn Walk Through Yamanaka – one of Tsukuba`s old neighborhoods (on the only day it hasn`t rained in the past two weeks!)
By Avi Landau Autumn is my favorite time of year for wandering through Tsukuba`s rustic old hamlets, with their traditional homes, old shrines and temples, sacred stones, magnificent trees and plenty of fruits, vegetables and flowers in the gardens and fields (not to mention the raucus chattering of birds all the intoxicating smells that accompany such a stroll Things haven`t worked out well this year, though. October 2017 has been rainy almost every single day so far… and I`m going a little stir-crazy! And things seem to be getting worse.
As I write this, the rain is pounding on my closed storm shutters and I`ve received two special alerts on my smart-phone telling me that the neighborhoods along the Sakura River should prepare for evacuation in the event of flooding. You see, a typhoon is headed this way. School and work have been cancelled (for many) tomorrow, and today, it was raining so hard that I gave up taking pictures of voters making their way through the down-pour to the polling station at Teshirogi-minami Elementary School. The election results, with its great gains for Prime Minister Abe`s party (along with the New York Yankees crushing defeat today) have compounded my rain induced blues stress to the breaking point. In fact, I`d probably be tearing the hair out of my head – if I had any!
Last Wednesday though, was a happy and well needed reprieve from the weather we`ve been having (which the Japanese TV weather-people have attributed to something they call the Autumn Rain Front -akizame zensen??!!) I took advantage of the break in precipitation to enjoy a stroll through Yamanaka, one of the old neighborhoods not far from where I live. I could feel all the tension slowly melt away in my muscles and joints as I made my way along its centuries old roads.
I decided to post these pictures tonight so you`d be able to see what a Tsukuba autumn should be like! Lets hope it clears up soon and that the damage from the typhoon is minimal. Take care and be safe!
For a beautiful description of life in an old Ibaraki village (with one chapter focusing on surviving a strong typhoon) read my translation of Junichi Saga`s Remembrance of Village Days Past (available on Kindle)