Ode to Hokkaido

Hokkaido – Ainu,

Genghis (khan) curry, skiing,

under-rated bliss


Furano Flowers 

Otaru shopping alleys

Hakodate squid


Sapporo beer fest

with good pal who I hope has

escaped the earthquake


Lake Biei, Hokkaido




Reading and tv

Not much tsundoku

for me, well ok a bit

but blame the tv!


You all know what tsundoku means – having piles of books that lie around unread.  Well I don’t have a pile as such but I do have a few I want to pick up again or make a real start at, like those novels I bought back in February, but I just keep getting distracted by other books (though I have given up on one series of novels as I just couldn’t maintain an interest in it anymore so that’s one less distraction).    I think that’s ok though as you have to be in a certain state of mind to start a certain novel.  The Tale of Genji for example (I have the abridged version which is serious enough, nevermind the full version) requires a lot of time.  Other books are good for keeping for travel as they might be light in weight or subject matter. Though if they’re really serious looking ones, they might put the person next to you, on a plane or train, off talking to you, which can sometimes be a good thing!  I’m half joking.    They are good if you’re travelling on your own (or even with other people if you want to take a break from conversation) but not in all situations.

I’m reading non-fiction at the moment which is good and watching various things online has also been keeping me busy – dramas from various parts of the world and historical documentaries.  Oh and I do earn (or scrape) a living in my spare time!!   N/F have added some more Japanese stuff to the bill lately so I’ll have to check those out.   They look funny.   It’s a pity you can’t review anymore on N/F but I guess they thought that not enough people were reviewing or people were maybe putting up spoilers.  Who knows what the reason was.  I don’t think they explained it in the emails they sent around warning of their intention to remove reviews.  I wrote a lot of reviews (but avoided reading them before I watched something because of spoilers or ranting reviews). The star system was inadequate though so at least they took that off as well.    This thumbs up thumbs down system is ok but not when you have something to say!

Well, speaking of which I must pick up my latest series – a french drama set in Paris. It’ s good stuff.   jya, matta ne!!



Hokkaido harassed

Shocking earthquake hits

the least likely of places –

Hokkaido stay safe!


Japan has really had every weather problem thrown at it this year, even the heat which killed a lot of people in Tokyo.   It was just too much for some people, mostly the elderly.  The latest up to today was the tornado Jebi that has ripped through Kyoto, Nara and Osaka.  Now another earthquake has hit Japan, only in the unlikeliest of places.

An earthquake measuring 6.7 has just hit Sapporo, and a neighbouring town called Atsuma, up in Hokkaido.  This earthquake has caused landslides, another thing you wouldn’t really expect in Hokkaido. To see pictures of streets in Sapporo covered in mud is just unreal.   I never thought Hokkaido would be hit by an earthquake.  I know aftershocks from an earthquake on the main island affected it in 2008 and who knows maybe aftershocks hit it after the earthquake/tsunami in 2011, but an actual earthquake and a pretty strong one at that.    I was not in Hokkaido on my recent trip as I wanted to visit a totally different – yet similar in one way because of its expansive green countryside – part of the archipelago but it will always be special as it was the first place I really explored in Japan and I plan to go back and explore a bit more of this wonderful island.

I hope folks in Hokkaido affected by this and the folks down in Honshu affected by Jebi are keeping safe.   I don’t know of any deaths yet caused by the earthquake /landslides but at least 11 have died because of Jebi.    I imagine people in far western Japan are still recovering from the hurricane and landslides a couple of months ago.   Let’s not forget people in other, poorer, parts of the world who are also affected by weather disasters.  Mother Nature of course is blind to rich or poor countries in wrecking her devastation and recovery can be tough everywhere (and people who have lost family members or homes deserve compassion wherever they live in the world).

Climate change and its strange consequences cannot be denied, whether or not a country, like Japan, is earthquake prone by nature.  Some countries have had unusually hot summers while other places have had unusually late starting or short summers.    Anyone who denies climate change has to be an idiot in the extreme.