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.