The following post will be on my adventure to the countryside of Japan: Nukuta, Nagano. It was a mini adventure that brought out a lot of demons, yet set me into a better direction of dealing with them. I loved the trip, and I hope you will enjoy my stories. There will be five posts in the series so stay tuned for the rest.
My trip to Nagano was off to a dramatic start as I emerged into the pitch black rainy morning at 5:30 AM.
I am not used to getting up so early, so I found myself nodding off when I got on the platform. As I glanced up at the clock, I suddenly remembered that the magical hour will soon be approaching: The Businessman Rush Hour. Just as I had predicted, five minutes before the train pulled up, a flood of suits came rushing down the stairs. I never had any reason before to catch this train, so I was happy to have had the experience of squeezing myself into all of the people.
The trip to Nukuta Station was long. A whopping seven hours. During that time I mostly slept, but I also penciled down some thoughts I had while I was on the train.
As soon as I got off at Nukuta, Yoshida-san passed by in his car. I told him that I would call when I arrived at the station, but apparently it was not difficult to guess when I would arrive because only three trains pass through a day.
He was not how I expected him to be, in a good way! He was lanky and had a smile with a lot of expression in it. I did not know what kind of work I would be doing, but he explained to me that they were in the business of making houses for bees.
After doing a bit of work, he gave me a tour of his other gardens and of the neighborhood. Apparently only eight children attend the local middle school.
We very quickly got onto the topic of religion. He asked me a lot of questions about my beliefs.
“I just only realized at 45 that the only person you can change is yourself- no one else can do it for you”. He would quote himself over and over.
We arrived at the place I would call home for the next four days. It was interesting. It was a shack, but I liked it. There was no toilet in the house. Instead, you had to walk outside, down the hill for thirty seconds, and open up this metal box that looks like a locker and you will find the Japanese-style toilet waiting for you.
There also was no shower, but there was a bath (Also not inside the house).
If you would open up the plastic sliding door to the house, you would find the whole house cluttered with books, cooking utensils, blankets, and trinkets.
The hosts are both very sweet people. I will go on to explain their personalities little by little over the posts.
I found it hard to connect with them at the end of the first day, but I crossed my fingers and hoped that they would be glad that they decided to take me in. A stranger to their way of life.