Sunday, May 29, 2016

Surrounds: Part 1.

Kawashima Textile School is located in a small town near Ichihara train station, in the Sakyo Ward of Kyoto. It is a quiet town, already considered countryside, with a river running through it. There are 2 supermarkets, shrines, well kept houses with manicured gardens and trained matsu, vegetable gardens, rice paddies and vending machines selling drinks on just about every corner.

Just about every house has a small vegetable garden. I was surprised to find the same things that I was growing back home, namely: potatoes, broad beans, peas, onions. Eggplant also seems to be a favourite and the pumpkins are starting to show their first leaves. All gardens are very organized and the plants are given plenty of assistance to grow straight or climb with the help of bamboo, metal or wooden sticks and various synthetic lines or ropes for guidance. There appear to be 3 ways of approaching the security of a garden. The first is to ignore it and leave it totally open and without any kind of barrier or protection. The second way is to completely surround, the sides and above, the garden with chicken wire or nets. And the third way is a little more extreme and employs several layers of electric fencing. I am not sure if it is people that are being kept at bay but perhaps and most likely it is the spider monkeys, wild boar and even deer that apparently inhabit the hills nearby. The list of animals keeps growing.

The rice paddies are my favourite part of the landscape and you´ll often see ducks wading in them. There are still some empty flooded fields which means that the rice has just been recently planted and in a nearby field there was still a little pallet of seedlings ready to go. From what I understand come October it will be ready to be harvested. At the end of one of the fields there is a house with a green roof shaped like the ones we saw in Miyama, but this one is not thatched but rather made from metal. Today I found out that it is a Buddhist Temple. On the road that leads to the temple there are posters with snakes. I´ll have to ask someone what they say, if there really are snakes around here too, or if this is just a nice way of the Buddhist Monks to tell you, "Stay away, if you can´t read Japanese". It certainly worked with me.

It has been raining all day. School starts tomorrow. I am very excited.

No comments:

Post a Comment