Five days later, I went to a ranch in Gujo city, Gifu prefecture, and looked through the viewfinder of my camera to find a field of violet-pink flowers waiting for me.
This time I wore a white polo shirt and a black trekking hat. No necklace and no sunglasses. My mouth was somewhat sore from the mouth ulcers. I’m not in such dire straits at the moment that I’m willing to jump at any job.
I was fascinated by the flowers. Anyway, I was taken aback by the beauty. It may have been a tourist ranch, but the brochure said, “Take a deep breath,” so I took a deep breath. Yeah, it’s not the first time I’ve done this.
I could smell the flower garden right in front of me. Or maybe I just felt like I smelled it. It was a lavender flower garden. This place sometimes tends to be, how to say it, dreamy. It’s like being in an imaginary world.
There used to be a kind of barbecue house for families. They provided food, a place to rest, facilities for outdoor activities, entertainment, and above all, a quiet environment.
The price was not too high. Families are usually not that wealthy. When I say families, I include children and pets.
It was hot there. It must have been 35 or 36 degrees Celsius.
On the three sides of the lavender field were the plateau flower field, the church flower field, and the secret flower field, where there was a church like you would see in the West, but the bell there was rusty and faded.
The flower garden area was full of colors. There were blue Russian sage, yellow marigolds, pink alstroemeria, and red sun patients.
From one side of the lavender field, I could see Mt. Dainichigatake (1,709m) and Mt. Hakusan (2,702m).
Dainichigatake is locating to the southeast of Hakusan, and the empty ski resort looked as if a landslide had occurred. There were no people on the trail. There was an off-season atmosphere in the air.
Maybe it was, it wasn’t.
While drinking water, I thought about Dainichigatake and Hakusan. To go or not to go? I would spend most of the afternoon trying to get to the two mountains.
I walked about two kilometers to the pasture and took some breaks on a bench near the pond. As I drank the water, I began to feel more and more amused by the reality that people were feeding the carp in the pond. How can food for carp be more expensive than the water we drink?
In the pasture, I saw some fascinating animals such as Suffolk sheep, native to England. But, I couldn’t find the animals I was looking for.
It seemed that milking the cow wore out the cow, and pulling the horse wore out the horse’s nerves. Humans seemed to be abusing them by paying for their desires.
It would be harder to eat shabu-shabu (a type of hot pot) after seeing the cows at the ranch than it would be to beat the famous horse, Deep Impact. You don’t just look at a cow and say, “That looks good in shabu-shabu.”
In any case, animals have the right to live free as they are born.
Put them out to pasture. Long live the animals!
I left the pasture and continued for a while, crossing the road train station. I climbed the stairs and returned to the main house where I could see the observatory. I sat down on a bench in front of the main house and waited patiently.
I rested for five minutes or so. Then I went back the way I came.
When I left the entrance gate, I returned to my parked car and made a U-turn to go to my next destination.
That was the end of the half-day.