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  • Writer's pictureNigel

🧀 Cheddar チェダー

2024 年 3 月 23 日


What a silly boy. Buying a packet of Cheddar cheese in Japan. Ridiculously expensive, and too near its sell-by date. But they did put a little cool pack in with it, which was sweet I suppose. Japan is not a land for cheese. Nor for yoghurt either for that matter.

Get that, Nigel.

有名なチーズのある国はたくさんあります。 日本はその中には入っていない。





 

Sunday was a day for a walk in Yokohama. I get to my local station, and, wow - there's my train just waiting for me. I step on board. But the doors don't close. There is no other train at the station. Just this train. Stationary. Something is going on, I mean, why is the carriage springing up and down? I concentrate on the footplate of the door in relation to the edge of the platform. Yes. It is not an illusion. I was tempted to step back onto the platform and see if that was moving. I didn't dare. I suppose I'm being dramatic, but I'm not used to these seismic happenings. Of course nobody batted an eyelid on the train. Shindo 震度 2.



 


Yokohama. It's a fascinating city, quite unlike any other place I've been to in Japan. Here you feel the lingering resonances of the 19thc. The opening up of Japan to foreigners. And you feel this nowhere so poignant as on the hill in the south of the city. It is now called the Harbour View Park ( 港の見える丘公園 ) , and it was here that the French, the British and many others set up there diplomatic presences at the end of the 19thc. A view around 1900....



Some of the buildings are still there, and have quaint names, like the British House. A strange mixture of Britain and Japan.....

いくつかの建物はまだそこにあり、英国館などの趣のある名前が付いています。 イギリスと日本が混ざり合った不思議な雰囲気……。



....now adorned with orchids.....らん蘭



...and trying to look grand.....シャンデリア





Some buildings, like the French Consulate, didn't survive the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and are now just a few foundations and a French-built water pump system.






The adjoining cemetery is now a curiosity, for which you have to pay 500 yen to enter. Christian crosses. RIP. In memory of. It feels a rather sad place.

Following the winding paths, you pass tasteful colour arrangements......味わい深い色




.....and try to avoid getting in the way of young men endlessly photographing their beautiful young partners. In front of the fountain? underneath this magnolia?

多くの人が写真を撮っています



beside this stream maybe?



It is all very romantic. And the Japanese do romance well....in part maybe due to a refreshing absence of cynicism...



But it's not all ruins and flowers. In one building there was an exhibition devoted to an author who had spent much time in Yokohama. His name was Osaragi Jiro (1897-1973) a writer of plays, essays, fairy tales and novels. His anti-authoritarian views must have given him problems in Imperial Japan. But he survived with the huge success of his writing.....even renting a room in a famous hotel on the waterfront.....





Some of his scribbles.......



....and a finished book.....



a book cover......The title is "Pleasure and Pain".......oh dear......



...and a former ambience recreated......







evocative illustrations...



He loved cats, so they have an almost god-like status here.....

猫はくま隈なくいます.......



The place is heavy with "かいきゅう懐旧"....nostalgia. But there are many words for this, so I best ask a local what they think.

That famous anime creator Hayao Miyazaki was thinking fondly of the past here when he made the film Up on Poppy Hill. コクリコ坂から 🎬.

The view today is of course not quite so picturesque, but still impressive....

今日の景色




The films heroine hoists the message "Safe journey" for her heart-throb, who is on the deck of a tug boat out in the harbour......

"良い旅を"







The park is very popular with the locals, and is maintained with meticulous care...




......... you would expect people to be walking their dogs...but.....err.....hold on a minute......

犬 ? 🐕‍🦺 ?




.......a little pavement detail...



...a cat looks on.....



Peony - Hellebore.....



lupin......



Down below the hill, the area called Motomachi also offers some strange sights. Some wacky architecture........




And what is this? I had to wait for a break in the crowds to take a photo......

あの車は何ですか?




When I was living in London in the 1980's I had a blue Renault 4 exactly like this. Surely they don't make them anymore?? Or is there some little factory hidden away in Japan which is creating replicas? If the driver hadn't been in the traffic I would have questioned him. On doing a search I landed on this - €6000 will get you this...."Good Price".......https://www.goo-net-exchange.com/usedcars/RENAULT/4/700080329930240105002/

Thinking about it, it would be quite a useful little car in the back streets of Tokyo.....light, narrow, practicable.....and absolutely useless on the German autobahn.......

小さな道路に便利な車.




One of the station exits.....元町 駅






Walking back through the city, you can see buildings which did survive the 1923 earthquake....

19階の建物



But most buildings are newer....



Yes, the Phantom of the Opera.....ファントムオブオペラ。




 

Day and night are of equal length today, March 20th, so it's the Spring Equinox - an official holiday known as Shunbun no hi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernal_Equinox_Day

After my language lesson in the community centre I walked to the local department store AEON. Although there must be at least 10 restaurants here, I had to be quick to find a seat. The place was heaving. Why? because lots of people had taken the day off work. Men were to be seen looking after children (no irony meant here). For about €6 I received a tasty beef dish with rice and onions, picking up a glass of (free) cool water at the dispenser (where you could also wash and disinfect your hands).


牛肉とご飯と玉ねぎ。 美味しい。



Just managed to make it back home before a rainstorm set in.....嵐……保土ヶ谷




But the cats just snoozed through it.......

猫は寝るのに最適な場所を知っています





🧀 Thank you for reading "..Cheddar .."

 "..チェダー..."を読んでくれてありがとう



  Feel free to share the blog with friends.

🧀 よろしければ、リンクを友達と共有してください



🧀  And and I enjoy hearing from you...!

コメントすると楽しいです!



THE END

🗾

終わり




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