Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Open cafe at home


Life in Fukui

During Golden Week holiday that I was avoiding going outdoors, I was busy cleaning up the house. Speaking of the Golden Week, there had been a general mood that everybody should go somewhere. I have always liked to stay at home, so I spent time this Golden Week at home proudly, without feeling guilty.


One day, I made pancakes and had a tea break in the yard. Looking at roses that began to bloom, azaleas and other flowers that I don’t know their names, I feel very peaceful. My yard cafe is not bad at all.


In Fukui, perhaps due to rainy and snowy long winters, cafes with a terrace are not commonly seen. However, as an operation style of cafes after COVID-19, putting ventilation first, they may increase in Fukui as well. Then, the cafes are going to need shade to keep summer sun out or a folding screen door. So, I hope that subsidies are given for the equipment from the Japanese government or local governments. (H.S)


Pleasure of a walk


Life in Fukui

More than one month and a half passed since I started to avoid outings due to coronavirus. Now I go to work by car three days a week (and I work from home two days) and go grocery shopping once a week. That’s all.


But meanwhile, I take a walk near my home on weekends. It has rich natural surroundings. There are low mountains and a river with shimmering water quietly flows before my eyes.


When I walk along its embankment, wild flowers are eye-pleasing. There are dead branches on paths between rice fields, which are very dried. Then, my imagination began to wonder that I could make a large fire, or bake a pizza if I have a pizza kiln with the branches. Perhaps, it is a habit of ancient agricultural people that I want to collect branches, isn’t it?


At any rate, under the current situation, walking in the unchanged nature seems to be a luxurious time. The cherry blossom season is over and brisk May is just around the corner. Although virus threats are right over there, plowing up rice fields is going steadily, let water flow to the rice fields soon and rice planting will start again this year as if nothing happened. (H.S)


Hino River


Moss phloxes on the bank. It seems that the moss phloxes started blooming earlier than usual.


Took a closer look.

Cherry blossoms after a warm winter


Life in Fukui

Unfortunately, it is raining, but along the street called Sakura-dori (cherry blossom street) in front of our office in the center of Fukui City, cherry blossom trees are nearly in full bloom already. So they will be in full bloom as early as the beginning of next week.


It will be already April next week, so it's not surprising. This year, it was a record warm winter and we had almost no snow in Fukui, a heavy snowfall area. So I didn't feel like winter, but nevertheless, the cherry blossom trees did not bloom much earlier, one month or so than usual, and did only a few days earlier.


There may be a mechanism that even if the temperature rises, they wouldn't bloom simply. It's interesting.

Poetry monument of Machi Tawara on the Asuwa River's embankment


Life in Fukui

The poetry monument of Machi Tawara on the Asuwa River's embankment near Sakura Bridge


Yesterday, as I was walking on the pathway of the Asuwa River's embankment, a famous spot for cherry blossoms, a monument of a tanka (Japanese poem of thirty-one syllables) by a poet Machi Tawara, who was raised in Fukui, caught my eye.


The monument was originally built on Mt. Asuwa about 30 years ago and moved to this location during the restoration work of the embankment that was broken by the heavy rain in 2004. I had never seen it before, but actually it has been here for 15 years already.


The tanka carved on the monument says: "Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms, they begin to bloom, they finish falling, but the park looks as if nothing happened."


Now looking at the row of cherry trees, reminds me of the flood in 2004. But in fact, originally the trees were planted by people to mourn the victims of the World War II and in hope of reconstruction of the city. Because Fukui City was destroyed completely by US air raid.


The line "as if nothing happened" makes me feel the flow of a long thousand years beyond passing the seasons.


Cherry trees that were planted after the World War II are over 70 years old.


Fukui City in the 'snowless' New Year of 2020