Thursday, August 21, 2008

Walk near home

After moving to Akita prefecture, weather permitting, I usually walk every day for about an hour in the evening. This is to keep my mind clear and also for health reasons. Our home is surrounded by acres and acres of farming land. In the beginning of May, I noticed that farmers began planting the rice saplings. I watched it for almost an hour and forgot about my walk! It was amazing to see how a tractor was used to plant rows and rows of the rice saplings. It was the first time in my life that I observed such a thing. In India as well as in Japan, I have lived in city areas and never knew about rice fields! Well, for that matter any type of farm fields.
In Japan, Akita is considered to be a major rice producing prefecture. It seems the location and weather of Akita fit rice production. It faces the Sea of Japan to the west, where Tsuhima (warm) current is running. To the east, Oou Mountains block Yamase (cold) wind. Most rice fields are located in the basin, where temperature gap between daytime and night is big, which is good for rice growing. Also, Akita has plenty of clean water. In fact, one of the most famous brandname rice of Japan is Akita-Komachi.
6th of July being a Sunday, I asked my hubby to accompany me for the evening walk as I wanted to walk in the unpaved gravel road in between the rice fields and enjoy the sight with him. However, my hubby does not really like walking. So we went by our car half of the way! We walked on the gravel road surrounded by farm fields full of rows and rows of rice saplings. The fresh green color was very pleasing to the eyes. We walked for about 2 km and then reached the Koyoshigawa river. Seeing the river my hubby wanted to play 'ishinage'. I became very excited as I remember playing this game in my childhood! If we throw a stone in the river, the stone should skip across the surface of water. I tried and tried but failed miserably. My hubby was also playing it after a gap of 20 years. So due to lack of practice, he could make the stone skip for 2-3 times only. But just the feeling of playing ishinage and walking down the gravel road without worrying about any other wordly affairs for two hours was really refreshing. It gave both of us the much needed refreshing energy. Here are some of the photos of our walk and a video of hubby playing ishinage.

Me in front of our in the parking space very near to the rice fields.

Me walking on the gravel road surrounded by rice fields

Hubby posing in the gravel path

Me walking adjacent to koyoshigawa river

Video of hubby playing ishinage

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