As much as I enjoyed our day trip to Otaru, I never thought that I’d get so many blog posts out of this humble little town. I’ve already posted an abridged summary of our daytime wanderings, and posted some of the lovely doors I found. There will be a second Thursday Doors post for Otaru coming up in the near future, whenever I find time to put it together, but, in the meanwhile, I wanted to share some photos from one of the highlights of that day: Otaru’s Snow Light Path.
I kind of don’t want to write a lot here; I have so many photos from that night to share instead. (I will try to restrict myself a little, though) Continue reading
This year, I have read some very interesting, and very “different” books. I read New Earth which is sort of about spirituality and focuses a lot on focusing on the present moment; I read Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World which was a very bizarre story in which death – particularly the imminence of death – featured quite prominently; I read A Tale for the Time Being which dealt with suicide a lot; and, not too long ago, I finished reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations which is a philosophical text that addresses, among many things, the idea of transience.
All these books – which, let it be noted, I did not intentionally choose to read in that order, or consciously plan to read them all this year, but rather that it so happened that I came across them or otherwise felt compelled to pick them up when I did – all these books have got me thinking, subconsciously and consciously, from time to time, about how everything is transient and ephemeral and impermanent and all those beautiful words that mean more or less the same thing.
Otaru is one of the loveliest little towns I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. It’s a coastal town on the western side Hokkaido (Japan’s northernmost island), and it used to be the island’s financial centre because of its role in shipping and trade with other countries. Maybe it was just because it was winter, but it seemed like a sleepy little town when we visited (I mean that in the nicest, most affectionate way).
Since the main purpose of our trip to Otaru was to see the Snow Light Path, I hadn’t really researched much about the town, and about other things to see and do there (also I didn’t have that much time for extensive research before the trip). But I generally don’t have trouble finding interesting things, and keeping myself entertained when I’m in a new town/city, so I figured it’d be fine. Besides, one of the friends I was going with had already done some research into it. As it turned out, we were sufficiently preoccupied during the day.
It’s such a shame that water is such a precious and limited resource.
Coming home from a long day at work, or after any emotionally taxing day, there’s nothing better than a nice long shower – hot in winter, and ice cold in summer.
For me, I don’t think it’s as much about the feel of the water on my skin as it is about the complete immersion in the sound. Sure, the cooling/warming feeling (as the season requires) is soothing, and certainly helps to ease the tension from my body, but what I’ve come to realise is that the sound – the noise – is paramount.
Pretty sure I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I have a bit of a soft spot for small towns. Not sure how I’d go living in one for a long time, but they sure are lovely places to visit. One of my most favourite places in Japan was a small rural town: Otaru is located somewhere west of Sapporo, in Hokkaido, and we visited on February 8th.
Otaru is only about half an hour from Sapporo by train. Things like this amaze me because sometimes it takes over half an hour to get from one part of Brisbane to another by train – on one train line, travelling through the same city!
In a moment – inspiration. In another moment – inspiration lost. But some remnant of it is still there, like ripples on the surface of a lake, hinting at something that’s passed.
Sometimes I wonder what I used to write about before I started writing so much about my holiday to Japan, and about this Meditations book I’m reading. Well, I suppose it’s easy enough to look back at my blog archives and see that it’s just a bunch of random ramblings.