In between the snow and freezing rain, there have been two Sundays in January that were nice. Well, one was 'nice' and one, yesterday, was smashing! The first nice dry day we had I headed out towards the mountains. Now as close as the Japan Alps are to Kanazawa, I had no intention of riding all the way up to and in to them. I just wanted to get close and get some elevation. This I accomplished handily. Even though I must admit that as I got to a rather steep section of street, I had to give up the bike and just walk. It was tough going, and I only have 3 gears! The view was nice enough, but what was really cool was a little temple I found among the woods behind the hill. It was a secluded little spot, mossy and quiet. It was really nice to see woods again, it had been a long while since I had seen anything that could be mistaken for wilderness, even though no actual wildlife were around.
The next nice weekend day was this past weekend, and the weather was glorious. I don't know how warm it was for sure, but I would guess it was around 50 degrees. This is a remarkable improvement from earlier in the week, as it had snowed without sticking all day Tuesday and Wednesday, and rained off and on Friday and Saturday. I was actually expecting to spend another day huddled under my Kotatsu, but when I awoke the omnipresent cloud cover had lifted revealing an azure sky. A perfect day for a trip to the beach. I live right near the Sai River, which has an 8 kilometer voyage to the Japan Sea. Lucky for me is there is also the Sai River Bike Path making that same trip. It really was a nice trip, flat, pretty, and even some wildlife. I saw Eagles (which I assume are the Japanese Golden Eagle) several times, as well as Ducks, Pheasants, and of course Gulls.
Once I made it to the beach I was both amazed and shocked. Amazed because its been a looooong time since I've been to anything that could be called a beach, and shocked because it was rather.. ugly. The government had piled concrete erosion barriers all down the coast, which altered the view for the worse. There was also a fair amount of trash. Despite all that, I was still totally enthused, it was just nice to see the ocean again, and the weather was so nice it was hard to stay bummed at the desecration. But I have to say that after living in Japan for a while, I really see where Miyazaki gets the environmental messeges for his movies, Japan hardly has an environment anymore. Concrete is everywhere, even in the wilderness.
Deep woods temple.
The Japan Alps loom over Kanazawa.
Selective shot of the beach, no barrier!
Hey, where did that come from?
Well at least it makes the waves break better, so it sounds cool while you are there.