Friday, February 18, 2011

8 Unmistakable pleasures of Japan, No. 4. The Streams of Japan

Concurrent with my list of complaints about Japan, I present 8 things I loved about Japan.

I can't speak for most of the towns of Japan, but one of my favorite things about all of Japan had to be the streams. Now, these aren't streams in the sense that the Oregon-dwellers reading this missive will think of streams. Like so many things in Japan, the streams have been brought under the power of man. The streams have been redirected, and tamed.
In Obuse, where we spent the balance of our time, the streams ran beside the roads, in sunken aqueducts, laid over with concrete tiles. Everywhere one walked, the sound of running water was there. The sound of running water follows all the streets, muffling or mingling with the sound of cars. Between some back yards, these little aqueducts also run. They ran outside our bathroom window, and besides helping the human waste dance run smoothly, they muffled the sounds of next door, and made me wonder if it was raining every day.
If every man's home is his castle, in Obuse it is doubly true, for in Obuse, every man's home has a moat.

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