May 21, 2012

Out for another walk

 I went out for another walk. This time I planned to walk west along the northern bank of the Nanakitagawa River and then at the west end of the park turn south and cross the bridge. As I walked along the level, I saw a large number of cars parked on the south bank.
 As I continued walking, I was able to get a better look. It was a gateball tournament. Gateball is  called croquette in the US. It is extremely popular among the older people in Japan. They even have nationwide competitions. I am old enough to join but have no particular interest in doing it.
 After I had turned south and crossed the bridge, I cam to some rice paddies to the southwest.  They had already been flooded and the new crop had been planted.
 If you look carefully, you can see the seedlings in this picture. In a couple of months the plants will be knee high and ladened with grains of rice.
 Just passed the paddies is a construction site. It seems like it has been at least six months since I have been here, but it looks exactly the same. Maybe they stopped work for a while, like they do on the river near my place. I think that they give contracts for different parts of the work to different companies, not just the lowest bidder, so that the money gets spread around.
The trucks that are moving the dirt they remove use this entrance to the area. The two men that are standing there each have a hose with water pumped from the river. As the trucks go out onto the road, they wash down both sides of the truck, paying particular attention to the wheels. The result is that there is no dirt on the road. I should also point out that, in addition to these two men, there is a man from a security company who is directing traffic as the trucks leave. In contrast to what I remember from the US, the civilian cars are given precedence and the company trucks wait for them.

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