After a week of experiencing the bustling and crowded streets of Osaka, my system was becoming a tad queasy from the metropolitan ambiance and pungency. As much as I love the city for its vibrant cocktail of human types, art, architecture and technology, I cannot picture myself living in a big city. Or under the permanent shadows designated by skyscrapers, only to be illuminated again by white fluorescent lights. People of the city also come in a vast array of types, and indeed I have met many beautiful creatures in my life in such areas. However, large metropolitan cities like Osaka and maybe even Tokyo just isn’t for me yet. My experience walking about the city and jumping from one metro-train-bus to the next, being one within the crowd of the local clan of city people is much too dreary for me. Even from afar they conglomerate into something resembling much like a termite hill. The white collar workers herding themselves into trains day in day out, with the casual naps many people steal during their silent time in public transport is all too familiar to me now being in a city.
In the big city, people work against the artificial clock they’ve constructed, racing to make ends meet just so they can finally afford either a comfortable dinner at a fancy restaurant, trendy clothes, or buy a slightly bigger than-your average-bathroom sized appartment. And life in the city may come with vast opportunities, but it also comes with high living costs, and a huge sacrifice to your own health.
I remember going to a local, non-touristic cafe at 8 am nearby Shinimamiya when I came back to the hotel late one morning for a descent cup of coffee, only to find it packed full of semi-old people sitting in individual barstools, chain-smoking and reading the daily newspaper. Hot-boxing cafe’s because we all enjoy the preciously cooling airconditioning circulating our poison is the standard thing in Osaka. I was surprised how many people smoked here compared to most places I have been.
Furthermore, food may be pricey in the city but don’t get me started with vegetables! Something more of a rare commodity or more of a dish decoration, veggies seem to be absent in this city. Only when I sincerely tried to seek it (got myself to a legit 24/7 fresh supermarket), I still couldn’t allow myself to buy them everyday because of their price! For a bunch of spinach or bananas (5pcs) it could easily be 370-500 yen depending on where you get them. Also, I tend to get weird looks from people when I’m trying to enjoy my banana on the street. Mentally off-putting.
So enough is enough, it’s time I answer to nature’s call and embrace the countryside. I always wanted to go and check out what is going on in places where nobody goes, sorta my thing I developed. Also, I wanted to find out if it is true about the popular notion of Japan’s disintegrating countryside.
I was given the generous opportunity to hit up Daisen. A small but widely spaced town of the Tottori prefecture, named after the second highest mountain of Japan located there. This place isn’t so popular among most Japanese people I think, only really among hikers, skiers and other nature nutties, as I have been told. Many Osakian people I conversed with had no idea where I was going, and some even said that I should be careful! LOL
But upon research I think I have made a good decision to come here. The pictures of this place are breathtaking! I couldn’t wait to snap some pictures myself when I get there!
So I hopped on a three hour bus to from Umeda to Yonago. You can also get there via Nanba and from Yonago you can take a train to Daisen station or get off before Yonago at Daisen parking. If you plan to get off at Daisen parking, make sure you have someone to pick up you because this place is basically a dead parking lot with several truckers and no modes of public transportation to get you anywhere (unless you are hitchhiking of coarse, then I think this place could work!).
Here I was picked up by a family friend and together we rode along the coast, then passed the farmlands and then up the hill through pine forests. When I first stepped into the car I couldn’t keep my eyes off the car window and what I was seeing outside.
The changes of scenery from one glorious view to the next and the smell of the ocean to the that distinct fragrance pine leaves and the cool breeze and ohh!!.. I could go on and on!
The sun was shining bright and beyond the farmlands the wind turbines are graciously propelling away with the ocean breeze. And the ocean! Wow. The hilly landscapes of Daisen allows you to fully appreciate all the terrains in one panoramic scene at once. Looking down from the pine tree forests, you see a layer of the farmlands with canals, and then beyond large layer of glimmering ocean, and in the far far distance behemoth mountains in a violet tint reaching out into the horizons. Just. Beautiful.
I cannot fathom why anyone would run
away from such a beauty. As I have been told Daisen doesn’t have much company except for the cold winter months. The towns are eerie quiet. The fishing ports have maybe a small portion of working fishermen, and many many houses are empty. It’s a mystery, but I can tell that there is something very special hidden in Daisen. I can just sense it.
We will leave it here for now. All I can say that since day 1 in Daisen I am so glad that I am here, and I cannot wait to take tons of pictures to show you my journey and what a place this is. Stay tuned and in touch with yourself!