Monday, February 06, 2006

Another lovely walk... and snow... kinda

Headed out for another lovely walk into the areas West of my place yesterday with Scotto. We kinda just drifted in the general direction of Chuo (central) Park, gabbing and checking out the side streets.

The first stop was the same temple that we visited last Fall which houses the oldest surviving wooden building in Utsunomiya, originally built on the grounds of Utsunomiya castle and moved 400 years ago to it's current position overlooking Izumi-cho.

All of the water pots were frozen solid. It's been an odd bit of weather we've had these past few weeks... from cold to warm to cold back to warm for today. Last night was snowing pretty hard when I went out around 1AM to drop off my trash at the curb... but when I woke up this morning at 10, it was all gone and the temp is heading up to around 13 today compared to yesterday's 2??? Strange.

As we were walking through the backstreets, we came across this typically depressing Japanese kids playground. Not an inch of grass anywhere, concrete play structures and a field of mud... FUN!

Also stumbled upon St-John's Episcopalian Church, built in the early 1900s with an outer wall of Oya stone. It escaped damage during the bombings of WWII and is still an active place of worship today.

And of course, what would a walk in Japan be without the requisite horribly mangled and misused English? Limb Square? Corn Studio?

We also spotted some interesting methods of protecting these palm trees from the snow... an interesting concept... palm trees... snow... give them hats of course!

And on a slightly less amusing note, to prove to the citizens of this city that there are in fact homeless people living here (people seem incredulous when I mention it) and sleeping anywhere they can... here's one sleeping in the tunnel that runs under O-dori near Kencho... sad but true.

Shortened work week, only 4 days which will be nice... and only group lessons so not so busy... next weekend is the trip down to Yokohama and Kamakura... looking forward to it.

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