Monthly Archives: August 2021

Photography in Soni Village, Nara, Japan (2021)

I headed for Soni Village in Nara Prefecture. The long drive from Nabari was totally depressing.

Even though Mie Prefecture is a big place, there is no other place in the world that is so boring to drive. There was nothing on Prefectural Road 785 from Nabari to Soni Village. People are just doing forestry there.

It’s the same in every non-urban border town. Just like Chinatown is the same everywhere. Chinatown in Yokohama? It’s one of the most prosperous Chinatowns in Japan, but all you can find there are soup dumplings and a few Sichuan restaurants.

It’s true that after dark, you can see the shopping district bathed in a beautiful sunset. At dusk, like a Muslim wearing a hijab (scarf), there is something a little exotic about it. But I had to go to Soni Village to remember my past in the highlands.

The road to the south is as monotonous as the principal’s bragging. Through the mountains, down the hills, just winding along the river, through the mountains, up the hills, just winding along the river. That’s it.

It was four o’clock when I arrived at Soni Village. The Soni Plateau awaited me there.

I parked my car in a toll parking lot. It was raining lightly and the ground was a little damp. It took me a while to get going properly, and I needed to pay 800 yen for parking. The reason I came here was not to promote my health but to reminisce about the past.

I remembered that I had been here once about eight years ago. In the fall, when the silver grass was turning from white to silver and from silver to gold. Maybe I was tired. Maybe I was just naked in the middle of a highland meadow. I can’t imagine that I was playing alone in the awn there.

Most of the pond had become a wetland due to the accumulation of sediment over the years. The water in the pond was stored by rainwater and underground water from the mountains. There is a legend of a giant snake in the pond, and if I were to encounter one, I would run away at once. If it bit me, I would give it a kick and snap it clean in two.

I climbed the plateau in silence. I slowly extended my hand to the camera and grasped it in my palm. The sensation in both my legs was crazy. They were numb. The back of my thighs was beginning to ache. I had walked 12.4 kilometers that day, or 29,962 steps. I felt like having a drink that day. When I was tired from hiking or working hard, I wanted to moisten my throat.

I made it to the summit. The view from the top was so beautiful that I opened a bottle of whiskey and fell asleep in a drunken stupor. I’m done. Thank you. Then I turned around and headed back down.

A stylish young woman in a flowery dress with a white parasol was also going down the steps of the meadow. In a quiet meadow, there is always at least one gorgeous woman like her. I pulled up, looking for plants in the marsh.

I returned to my starting point and walked to the parking lot. I looked up at the sky. There were clouds in the sky, but it was a cool and refreshing evening. Then I got into the car and left the Soni Plateau.




Photography in Nabari, Japan (2021)

Three days before Obon, I visited Nabari. It was six in the morning when I left home. I woke up early, which was not what I usually do. I wore a black undershirt, a hat, and sunglasses.

Nabari is famous for being the site of the Nabari Poisoned Grape Wine Incident, which took place on the evening of March 28, 1961, at a residents’ get-together held at a community center in Kuzuo, Nabari City, Mie Prefecture.

One of the residents, a man named Masaru Okunishi, was charged with murder and attempted murder. He was 35 years old at the time. Okunishi continued to appeal for a new trial, but without success, he died in prison.

The party was held after the general meeting of the “Mina-no-kai,” a club for improving the lives of the residents of Kuzuo, Nabari City, and the neighboring Yamazoe Village, Yamabe County, Nara Prefecture.

Soon after the toast, all the women collapsed one after another; five died on the spot, one was temporarily in critical condition, and eleven others suffered from poisoning. Of the 20 female participants, only three who had not drunk any wine survived.

Tests conducted by the Mie Prefectural Institute of Public Health revealed that the wine was contaminated with a pesticide containing TEPP, an organophosphorus agent. In the early morning of April 3, 1961, six days after the incident, Okunishi admitted to the crime and was arrested.

Generally speaking, I was killing time in Nabari. I looked at maps a little, did a little photography, went for walks, and hiked a little.

It was fun to watch the children dressed as ninja enduring a raft ride on some rope along the riverside at the foot of the mountain. The children are training for the ninja experience.

Women are just people. They want new curtains, and they drink wine. What was Okunishi thinking? A rosy love triangle?

I gulped down an iced coffee from my water bottle and headed for Akame 48 Waterfalls.

I was bored. Or rather, I was boring even myself. No one likes to be bored. Why do people prefer to live like a poodle in a tatami room? I may never understand.

The last time I saw a waterfall in the mountains was in November. I like the mountains in the morning. The air in the mountains was still cool and clean, and everything was shining. Before I entered the mountain, I did some last-minute grooming. I made sure my hat was in place. My hair was in order.

I love the old-fashioned shopping streets, the aging signs, and the atmosphere at the entrance to the valley. The owner bakes the first sweet bun of the day and puts it on the glass showcase with a small handwritten menu next to it.

I like to take it as a souvenir and savor it slowly. Locally baked sweet buns purchased at a quaint store – there’s no substitute for them.

It’s crazy that I slept in every day on such a beautiful morning. Still, there’s plenty of time. Let’s go for a hike. I’ll make coffee.

It’s been a beautiful day. A brisk breeze. I could hear the rugged old beech trees across the street whispering to each other.

Hiking was becoming my life’s work, my joy. But I could only vaguely try to make money. For a living. That should never be a satisfying reward for me though.

I took a walk around Akame 48 Waterfalls. I passed the time there for about three hours.

Among the many waterfalls in the 48 waterfalls, I saw Fudo-daki (Fudo waterfall), Senju-daki (Senju waterfall), Nunobiki-daki (Nunobiki waterfall), Ninai-daki (Ninai waterfall), and then Biwa-daki (Biwa waterfall).

I parked my car in the area in front of the Akame 48 waterfalls and walked from there. In my business, I am often involved in nature. So I know a lot about it.

The waterfall is 8 meters high and beautiful. I took a picture of it. The waterfall was flowing down two sides with a rock in between. It is not a single disturbance.

I had a couple of iced coffees, enjoyed the moment, and I took too many pictures.



Photography at Nagara River, Japan (2021)

Exercise is necessary even for people who take pride in how smart they are.

Today, I did 40 squats. Up to the goal of 100 times, I have to do 60 times more.

I’m planning to participate in a regatta tournament, so I just came to this land for a preview.

It’s a little too hot for me here. Though, I like hot weather.