Lately, I have been working in a mountain of Gokanosho as a forestry worker with Mr Ogata, a.k.a. “Lord Ogata”, who is also an innkeeper of Sakura-so and whose ancestors had been the rulers of one of the villages of Gokanosho. I was lucky to find a job easily thanks to him. He has been running his own forestry business for many years along with his accommodation Sakura-so and needed help to finish his forestry work as soon as possible and I happened to be there.
We have been working on mowing the grass on the steep hills of a mountain, where its elevation is around 1,400 meters high above the sea level.
I’ve been playing the guitar since I was in high school. I love Rock music, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal in particular. This time, I decided to play some tunes off of each of 10 rock albums that influenced me the most.
I worked for a neibourhood construction company last week. The president of the company suggested me to work at a construction site for until they finish building a safe passage before they start their roadwork.
We finished this work on Friday 15 and the construction is expected to be restarted 2- 3 months later after the telegraph pole above the safety passage in the above picture is relocated. So I might not be possibly coming back to this site again.
Off to Mt Shiratori, one of the neighbourhood mountains in Gokanosho, to cut the bamboo with a mower. Mt Shiratori is a very good mountain for beginner trekkers to climb where there’s no big ups or downs throughout the trail from the start to the peak (1,450 m – 1,650 m ).
Having finished this work ( I had my wife together for this work ) earlier than we had expected, we went on to see if “Yama-shakuyaku” (= peony) are already blooming, which usually bloom around the middle of May.
Some of them are in bloom but many are not. It seems they will come in full bloom next week as average years. We, in Japan, are not in lockdown due to our constitution that forbids us to restrict our rights of freedom. Therefore, our government is not allowed to force us to self-restrict to stay home in order to stop the virus from widespreading. So there will be some trekkers who would like to see those beautiful flowers soon, and that is the reason for my work this time.
Given this situation due to the COVID-19, schools, universities and colleges are closed and big events are requested to refrain from holding by Prime Minister Abe. And we have lost most of foreign tourists who visit other countries.
However, I still had some foreign tourists who wanted to join my tours and I successfully ran all those tours and they enjoyed it.
Here in Japan, we have relatively fewer infected and dead compared to many other countries, thanks to their hard work who work at medical centres and our efforts of keeping hands clean with soap and alcohol and wearing a mask when go out. Actually, I haven’t got infected though I have had the chances to go visit touristic places.
We have alcohol bottles set at many entrances of restaurants / convenience stores / department stores / any public buildings for hand washing. I would like to tell you that this is considered to be the way we Japanese have practiced to keep ourselves clean and healthy. And I believe this is the best way to protect yourself and people around you. Follow us.
Let me show you how I enjoyed running tours in February and March despite this situation, as follows.
Japan has entered a rainy season. Downpour is causing floods in many places of western Japan. Please check out the weather forecast in your area and if it’s bad, just stay inside or go to a nearby safe shelter. However, it is expected that the rainy season is going to be over next week in Kyushu. Stay focused on the weather forecast.
Takachiho & Aso
Trek at Mt Aso (Kishima dake)
Aso & Kuju tour
Beppu & Aso
Aso & Kuju
Hitoyoshi & Yatsushiro
Kimono wearing and matcha at Tateyama green tea shop.
Refer to the following to learn more.