Lake Miyagase 2021.04.22
Our first glimpse of the lake area was an open picnic spot with a few trees littered with orange, yellow and red leaves. A few people sat on their picnic mats, chatting and drinking although a cold breeze swept over the lake and whispered gently through the trees; shhhhhhh, it said. A mom and her young child played hide and seek around the huge tree trunks. The atmosphere was light and relaxed. There was a huge slab of stone which probably proclaimed the name of the place but my Japanese is not so great so I just assumed we had arrived at our destination. The bus driver pulled into a medium-sized parking lot and gave a brief announcement. Everyone got off so yup, we had arrived. Around us I spotted lots of motorcyclists. They stood around the entrance to the picnic area, smoking their cigarettes and making conversation with each other. I wondered if they were already friends or if new friendships were being forged over common interests like motorbikes and love for outdoor activities. My companion headed to the gift shop and indoor market as her first order of business. The local goods were handmade and at very affordable prices but I have put a ban on myself from buying things I do not need so I just browsed the shelves and stalls and restrained myself from buying anything. After my spring (autumn?) cleaning two months ago, I decided I do not want anymore stuff. Easier said than done because after my friend bought some locally grown provisions we stepped outside and upon spotting a very old woman with a table full of ornamental wares, my heart dipped and I felt that a purchase from her would probably help her meet her daily expenses. I inspected her for-sale items and decided on a blue, globe-shaped candle holder. She ambled over and wrapped the item and with minimal Japanese we managed to have a delightful exchange. As a present, she offered me a branch of some sort that was covered with a large number of buds, also the colours of autumn. I was not sure what I was expected to do with it and after many attempts to thank her but return it, I gave up and walked off with it. We looked around at a few more sellers’ wares - knitted items, jewellery, wooden craft and so on - but shopping concluded, we headed to the more scenic area of the sightseeing location.
I'm like a chihuahua. Small but fierce and full of energy. I'm generally a positive person and try to make the best of each day.