First of all, the bright fluorescent lights are never dimmed. Secondly, the piped in music doesn’t shut off till well past midnight and is then replaced by a loud incessant beeping. I know, airports are not hotels so I ought to just shut up and be thankful for the free accommodation.
Kansai does score points for security and courtesy. A policeman dropped by to check passports and when Eric informed him that ‘wife is sleeping’ the officer bowed deeply, apologized and slipped away soundlessly.
Based on a few blogs and random Facebook comments, I had a vague notion that everybody loved cycling in Japan. I thought we’d love Japan cycling, too.
We don’t. At least not yet.
In places, it looks like somebody emptied a massive bucket of asphalt over the country and plopped down apartment blocks, Pachinko parlors and 7-11 convenience stores at random. Tracking down a nice shade tree is like trying to find a restaurant serving lunch during Ramadan in Jakarta. We spend much of our time tangled up in the vast network of roads searching for the cycle way. It doesn’t help that the expected summer rains have failed and we’re sweltering in this concrete jungle.
Even lovely Kyoto with its myriad of temples and shrines has failed to lift me from my funk. I yearn for pine trees and cool meandering streams. Tall mountains and empty roads.
We’ll find them, I’m told, once we escape the Osaka-Tokyo corridor. For now, we’ll push on, appreciating the kindness of the Japanese and the odd spot of beauty we happen across.