Environment, Japan, Long-Distance Walking, Streams, Creeks & Rivers
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A River Ran Through It

These days, much of Iya has been devoured by what [Alex] Kerr calls the Moloch, with the silence broken by the sound of jackhammers as multi-lane highways and ghastly concrete hotels sprang up to serve people flocking to see the view. Still, while all the rivers have been replaced by the usual concrete channels, and the trees replaced by uniform rows of artificial cedar, some of the less-visited eastern reaches are worth visiting ~ WikiTravel

Curly, Larry & Takeshi, Iya Valley

It’s been a bit longer than usual between posts of late. We’ve had a death in the family and I haven’t been in much of a mood for writing. My brother-in-law Darryl was a good man who died far too young. With all the stress, I managed to pick up a nasty bit of flu as well. Good times at Club Mountaingoat. Anyway, I’m on the mend and tonight I’m braving a return to the keyboard of my beloved (is that too strong?) Macbook Pro…

One of the world's most majestic open drains

Still not quite ready for a ‘real’ post, but tonight I’d like to provide an addendum to an earlier post, Angry Haiku in Central Shikoku. At the time I wrote it, I had misplaced a camera memory card with lots of images which, I remembered, backed up my venomous tirade against the voracious, pork-barrel-fuelled Japanese construction demon and the destruction it had wreaked on a once-magical corner of Japan, the Iya Valley.

Well, I’ve since found the missing card, and I can’t tell you how wonderful that felt. The whole first half of my Shikoku odyssey: images, places, situations I’d almost or completely forgotten (although they’re faithfully recorded in my paper journals). It really was like receiving news that a missing friend had been found safe and well. I had a fantastic week or two fiddling with the images on Heidi, my little Mac, and I’ve just added them to the original post, which I’ve tinkered with a tad to accommodate the new images. All the pictures there now are mine. You can find them by revisiting that post here.

'Torii' gate at the start of the path, Tsurugi-San, Shikoku

My wish is not, I should add, to “bash Japan”, particularly now, in light of the recent and ongoing tragedy in Nippon. I should hope that my guarded, conflicted affection for the country, the strange grip it has on me, are obvious if you’ve read one or more of my Japan posts. It’s because I love the place and it’s so much a part of what makes me ‘me’ that such insane, short-sighted, idiotic and utterly pointless ‘development’ sparks such a terrible conflagration of emotion in me.

Plus, you just don’t do shit like that to a river. Any river. Some things should stay sacred, expecially in a country famed for its ‘love of nature’.

And some unrelated blog news: I’m finally getting ready to start on my Armchair Hobo page (see the tab at the top). This will be where I document walking-based books from my collection for anyone interested in a bit of armchair rambling, researching or general escapism. It will be an ever-ongoing project — a bit of a blurb and a short review of each book as I read it. It will take some time: I’m a slow reader, I’m working again, I have a lot of books — and I am never too far from dropping everything, taking off, hitting the road, and doing the real thing again.

And books are heavy…

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote


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