Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Large Barbarian

As I mentioned before, on paper I live in Maebashi, but the real name of my community is Ogo aka 大胡. If you dissect the characters, it means large barbarian, which is one of the stranger Japanese town names I've come across. (Most are pretty standard, Kanazawa is Golden Marsh, Tokyo is simply Eastern Capital.) This image is a panorama, facing towards the slopes of Mt. Akagi and the town center of Ogo.

This picture was also taken from the second floor of my apartment building, and is facing towards central Maebashi. While we may be surrounded by mountains on three sides, honestly its rare that things are clear enough to really get a view of much beyond the looming mass of Mt. Akagi right by me. Despite the clouds this was one of those days that the other high peaks peeked out to say hello.

One of the fun things about being in Japan is that every town and area has its own unique manhole cover. This is Ogo's and of course a dominant design motif is the mountains. The private Jomo Electric Railway runs quite close to my apartment to Ogo station, which is a pretty major stop on the line. I can tell that because the stop actually has staff, like much of the surroundings the Jomo line has seen more productive days, and many of the stations are now sans staff.  In other transportation related news, I've now put over 500 kilometers on my little Kei Car, and am only working on my second tank of gas. Not bad at all, considering its been up a mountain or two already...


victoriasart said...

I do so enjoy the manhole covers. Functional art!

Island Auntie said...

I had forgotten all about the manhole covers. Now that is attention to detail!