Sitting half asleep on a hot stuffy bus. Watching the sun glisten playfully on the turquoise plane of the Japanese sea. Otherwise the landscape is bland – isolating noise reduction shields around the highway. And then suddenly, I see it. The familiar shape of mountains in the distance. The eye rests on every beloved crease and rise. I am home.
For many Niigata associates with food or sake or other bodily pleasures. For me, it is one thing only – Nature. In coming to Niigata I found the love of my life, the thing that keeps me here in this country despite everything. The lazy roll of old mountains, raising magnificently from the wet beds of fertile rice fields, held together by the playful Japanese Sea have captured me, possibly forever.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many things I don’t like about being here: the warm winters, the howling winds, the frequent rains, the infrequent buses. However, Niigata is considered one of the best places for surfing on the Japanese Sea coast. The rains feed the rice fields, farms and forests facilitating the production of amazing produce, rice, and natural herbs. And the relatively warm winters allow for much longer time on the slopes (and with much less clothes!). The buses……Well…
I came to Niigata for work and adventure. And I stayed because I couldn’t imagine waking up anywhere else.