The Sunday Summary: Hits, Walks and Six Months in Japan

Hey everyone, welcome to my new Sunday blog where I talk about life and general shenanigans. This won’t be an interruption to Showa 60 or to my other writing – I’m just viewing it as an outlet.

So, without further ado, I’ll split this up into the pieces mentioned in the title!

Hits

I was taking a brief perusal of my stats for all the time I’ve owned this domain (about two years or so, I think?) and I have to say, I’m impressed with Brazil. Either I’m getting a lot of spambots, or I genuinely have a lot of Brazilian fans. Check this out!

Screenshot 2016-05-22 22.42.46Screenshot 2016-05-22 22.47.42

453 lifetime views. The UK, I can sort of understand – my friends and family are from there, and some of them are particularly avid readers of my stuff (thanks guys!), and the NaNoWriMo group on Facebook is predominantly American, which explains the US. But Brazil? A total outlier, so I’m impressed. Muito obrigado! Also, Italy, you’re a confusing one for me too, so a big grazie mille to my Italian fans, wherever and whoever you are. And for those of you in Japan… ありがとうございました!

Walks

Everyone and their mother always seems to recommend running as a quick fix to getting some exercise, but it’s never really worked for me, and if you have the wrong sort of shoes (which I do) then it can cause serious damage to your legs over a long period of time.

For me, swimming is my main exercise. It’s low impact, it works on strength, suppleness and stamina, and it’s extremely relaxing. Unfortunately in Japan it’s hard to find a public pool (the closest one to me requires taking a train and then a taxi or bus), and private gyms practically require a small loan to attend regularly.

Therefore, I drop down to my second favourite exercise – walking. Fortunately for me, I live in a reasonably low plains area fenced in by the Tanzawa mountains and the greater Tokyo Metropolis. And the Pacific Ocean, I guess, if you go far south enough. My city has hundreds of years of history as a farming town, and by following the river through town, you quickly reach the farms surrounding the local agricultural university. The route alongside the river is pleasantly flat, and courtesy of the foliage and water it’s also pretty cool temperature-wise. The route I followed today was a good three miles, but didn’t feel like I was exerting myself especially hard. That being said, apparently I burned two hundred calories, so that practically takes care of that mint chocolate ice cream I had earlier in the day…

I also took a few pictures, which I thought captured the hazy sunset of the evening pretty nicely:

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All in all, it was quite the beautiful trek, and if it keeps me fit and healthy, I might take a similar route every Sunday – provided I don’t have anything else planned or something more strenuous on the cards. The hard working lifestyle of Japan combined with the boredom of living alone are an excellent soup for losing weight, so I’m beginning to feel better about my health and my body. Goodness knows I could have done with losing a few pounds when I got out here, but now I can barely keep my suit trousers up…

Six Months in Japan

Speaking of which, I’ve been here six months now! It’s quite incredible how the time has flown by really. In that time, I’ve visited so many places, met new people and learned new things.

In terms of places I’ve visited, there’s actually too many to list in great detail, but I might make another page with the places I’ve been and maybe try my hand at some travel writing. For now, here’s the not-so-brief overview:

  • Okayama, Okayama Prefecture
  • Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Enoshima, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Tokyo Metropolis
    • Ikebukuro
    • Shibuya
    • Harajuku
    • Kichijoji
    • Shimo-Kitazawa
    • Odaiba
    • Ginza
    • Asakusa
    • Akihabara
    • Shinjuku
  • Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
  • Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Nara, Nara Prefecture
  • Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture

Before I leave Japan, the places I really want to visit (that are reasonably accessible) are:

  • Hakone and Lake Ashi
  • Mt. Fuji and Fujinomiya
  • Fujiyoshida and Fuji Five Lakes
  • Kofu
  • Hachioji
  • Nikko
  • Hakone-Yumoto

Time will tell whether I get to go to these places! In the case of Fujinomiya, I’d at least have a place to stay (courtesy of a friend living out there), but as for most other places I’d definitely have to make a weekend of it.

Who knows what the next weekend will bring? That’s kind of my motto when I’m out here – some places are far cheaper to get to than you’d probably expect, and there’s always the option of getting up (begrudgingly) early and taking local trains to the destination.

Anyway, that’s about all I have time for, so thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more Japan updates, more Showa 60 and eventually, more of my novel.

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