Originally published on 2020/03/01

Today is a beautiful time to be in Japan…if we didn’t have the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) lurking around.

To be sure, people here are taking precautions like wearing masks and sometimes disposable gloves. There’s also been panic-buying going around. I can’t even find toilet paper anywhere because of that one damn fake news that spread around Japan.

Anyway, it was a long weekend, so I decided to go to a park on Sunday. I’m usually very lazy, and normally I would wake up at 10 in the morning on the weekends. Then, if I don’t have anything planned with friends, I do the laundry, clean up, and do some stuff on my laptop. I wouldn’t even step foot outside my apartment.

But that Sunday I wanted to try biking long distance. I wanted to visit Sayama Park, which I had heard about from a colleague. I checked it out on Google Maps, and I knew that I would want to explore it on my bike.

I hemmed and hawed, going through the pros and cons of getting to the park on my bike. It wouldn’t be a short journey. I was a new bicyclist, and I didn’t know the area well. I would have to constantly check my phone for directions, and I just knew I would get lost once in a while.

And I did.

But I was glad I pushed through with riding my bike to the park. It took me an hour and a couple of minutes to get there, with a few stops along the way.

Image for post

When I spotted this, I knew riding my bike to the park was a great idea. If I had opted for sitting in a train car instead, I never would have found this place. I was still some ways from the park, and I passed through this lane.

It was so beautiful! There was quite a breeze, which knocked off some petals off the trees. It was a blossom shower, and it was wonderful to look at!

Image for post

I’m waiting for this tree to flower this March, so I can bike through this area again.

Image for post

The park has many beautiful areas and lovely trees that will soon be filled with cherry and plum blossoms in a few weeks’ time.

Image for post
What a beautiful lake!

The park is pretty large — certainly not like Showa Kinen Park in Tachikawa or Shinjuku Gyoen Park, but there’s a lot of space to bike around, and there’s a playground where families spread out blankets for a picnic.

Image for post
Stairway to Heaven nyahaha

Up there is a view to die for — blue-green water and a distant horizon. Wait for the sun to go down a bit, and it’ll hit the water just right, splashing diamonds on the surface.

Image for post

Beaches are so accessible in the Philippines. And while I don’t exactly know how to swim (I can float, if that counts), I miss that briny smell, cool breeze, and the sound of the waves hitting rocks.

I didn’t actually know there was a lake here, so I was amazed and surprised. It was a great feeling. I managed to get my bike up here on this bridge through another path that was really steep (near the rest stop).

Riding a bike against a cool breeze coming from a lake? Wonderful feeling! I felt like I was in a Kdrama or Jdrama. I brought some snacks with me, but I wasn’t really hungry. I guess my adrenaline and sense of wonder kept my appetite in check. I was just too busy taking in all the sights and the experience.

Image for post
This exit leads to the Tama River bike trail

After a few hours I went home, following another path that was quicker. It was still an hour, though, because I got lost and happened upon a bunch of people in a tent offering free coffee and some stuff to sign.

With my paltry Japanese, I didn’t really understand what was going on, but some of the messages read, “Fighting!” so I wrote a simple message to the same effect.

I think it had something to do with preserving a plot of land with cotton flowers?

Jezus, I have no idea.

Anyway, I biked home.

And fell on the sidewalk.

I was on the main road and was about to get back to on the sidewalk to check the direction on my phone, but I lost control of my bike when the front wheel didn’t manage to get on the elevated pavement.

I fell and skinned my left knee, tearing my pants.

I thought it was just bruised at the time, but when I got back home, I found out that I had scraped my knee on the ground. It did hurt, but it lasted for only a few days.

Two things I learned that day:

  1. Bike slowly and carefully. Doesn’t matter if I don’t get to my destination in 30 minutes. What’s important is that I arrive in one piece.
  2. The journey matters as much as the destination. If I had decided to ride the train, I would’ve gotten to the park in under 30 minutes. But then I would also have missed out on the cherry (plum?) blossoms in bloom, and I wouldn’t have gotten that Kdrama bike moment.

9 Comments

  1. We may also use web beacons invisible images often referred to as pixel tags or clear GIFs in order to recognize users and assess traffic patterns, and we may include web beacons and cookies in our email messages in order to count how many e-mail messages have been opened. clomid dosing pct To stimulate ovulation, Clomiphene is prescribed 50 mg once a day before bedtime, starting from the 5th day of the menstrual cycle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.