Essay - Travels
2003 Autumn - Asuka No.2 "It's in the course of nature that night is dark"
When we came into Yamato region, we marveled that there were hasagake (mowed and hanged rice on the crosspiece for drying) here and there in the rice field after harvest. We were also filled with wonder at the sight of many magnificent "This is exactly Japanese house" mansions which were build of wood and black earthen wall. They were more genuine Japanese style building than one of Toyama where the own-house rate is the highest in Japan. We also felt admiration there were a lot of shop of precious wood or lumber dealer.
We ran and ran toward the Asuka at Peco's suggestion "It is certain that the starting point of Nara is Asuka" and we arrived at the ancient Ishibutai (stone stage) burial mound. In any case, we had to visit, and we entered the inside. Then, Here it comes! "This stone stage is..." an old man who is volunteer of the tourist society appeared and began to explain. He looked apparently over seventy and was going strong despite his age. Peco who a would-be "the world champion of the interfering competition" was no match for him.
"We live in Takaoka, Toyama where Yakamochi Ohtomo who was famouse for a compiler of Manyoshu (the oldest anthology in Japan) used to be a governor (from 746 to 751)." "Oh! Really?" The conversation grew lively. "By the way, have you decided on tonight's inn yet? Haven't you? Then I'll try to arrange for you." Everything went on swimmingly while one is looking on in blank amazement. "Show you two to the inn at 4500 yen for a night with breakfast!"
Our inn was built 100 years ago as a restaurant. In a tokonoma (alcove) which had beautiful openwork screen and alcove post there were various things such as helmet, doll, Hotei-san (god with a potbelly who is one of the Seven Gods of Good Luck), copper vase just like a the front of antique store "a rich variety of goods in stock from which you can take your" We felt familiarity.
As a make of veranda was just like our house's one, we did not feel the first inn and relaxed. Obliging and friendly landlord and landlady was very tidy. The washroom and the bathroom were in good repair, the sheet was well-pressed, it was unexpectedly comfortable inn.
Although "As we are sudden stay, we'll have dinner out", "Almost all the shop close at six o'clock, so you ought to hurry." said landlady and landlord also said "I'll take you to and from the restaurant by car" They were anxious alternately. The fast-sinking autumn sun. The star was nothing but twinkling in the sky, not a soul was to be seen on the street, a great silence reigned over the town. As I always wonder "Why is it as light as day all over the country ?" and it's a marvel to me its dark night.