A byte of life from the Land of Sumos and Sushi

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

As the weather warms, the time has once again come to explore the lakes of Ono in my beloved two man kayak. Last week, I took my super cool J-sister, Yuko, up to Manahime Ko, to show her the delights of the Sea Eagle 330.

Despite being an Ono local, she has never made the short 40 minute drive up here, which I find unbelievable considering it’s such a stunning area, but as we paddled through the deep blue waters lined by steep forested mountains, it became apparent that my idea of beauty, and her idea of beauty, were two very different things.

Whilst I proclaimed to area to being very pleasing to the eye, she explained that from a Japanese point of view, it was not considered beautiful. Spooky? Yes. Attractive? No. Her reasons - lack of people and human development – exactly the same reasons that I find it such a lovely area.

This does seem to fit in with the Japanese love for what I deem “man-made nature”, in that it seems an area is only considered beautiful once it has been manipulated and manicured by human hands. Raw, untouched beauty appears to be less appreciated. Only structured, hand planted, man-influenced “beauty spots” seem to make the guide books here.

That would explain why I am the only person that ever goes to this lake. Not that I’m complaining. I still think it’s beautiful, and I get it all to myself, but I do think it’s a shame that a place I consider to be such an amazing spot, is not appreciated at all by the natives.


Blogger Benito Aramando said...

makes me question what i thought was a fairly universal human appreciation for unspoilt nature. weird.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 11:19:00 am

Anonymous risingsunofnihon said...

I agree with Benito in that I never realized people DON'T like unspoiled countryside. It can be creepy, sure, particularly if you've watched too many horror movies, but it is always beautiful to me!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 11:37:00 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm an Australian living in Hyogo prefecture and wandering where you got your hands on a two man kayak? (I'm looking for one of those.) Any reccomedations (you could post to this same article) would be a great help.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 11:58:00 am


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