Thursday, 13 August 2009

70 Kilometers

My garden is located in Tsukuba city where I spent 4 enjoyable years at University. Arriving in Tokyo at that time was a special event since there was no direct train from Tsukuba. After the opening of the Tsukuba Express Line, the city is now within commuting distance for anyone working in Tokyo.

I live in Kitasenju (North-East Tokyo) so door-to-garden is 50-60 minutes including a short bus ride from Tsukuba station, which is similar to the time I used to spend in my daily commute to Shinjuku (West Tokyo, business district). When you repeat the same action, it becomes an automatic routine. Standing in queues at the same time at the same spot – the same scenery is passed by without being noticed – dozing off for a while and waking up just before the intended station stop.

Senju was one of the four posting stations located just outside old Edo. Several main roads stretched out Northward, and one of them was called the Mito Thoroughfare, nowadays known as National Road Number Six. In the Edo period, people walked from Nihonbashi to Mito, roughly 115 kilometers in distance, in a few days. There are still historic remains to be observed on this road. Tsukuba City is en route so I decided to ride my bike to the garden for the first time – 70 kilometers.

My original plan was to depart before dawn at 4 am following an Edo custom, but this could not be fulfilled due to an unintended heavy drinking session the night before with friends. I left home at 6 am. Fortunately, the mild weather with a lower temperature helped. After 2 hours ride, my Edo style tea pavilion in Abiko city was now in fact an American diner. Nonetheless, the coffee saved me. So I continued riding for another 2 hours to the garden. In total, it took 4 hours, shorter than my estimated time.

In the garden, peas, cucumbers, greens, flowers and weeds were swaying in the gentle breeze and looked perfectly unconcerned about my little adventure.








Gary said...

"I thought of that while riding my bicycle"... Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity.

The most noble form of transportation - and admirable willpower to have set off at 6AM having over indulged the night before!

Gary said...

... in fact, on reflection, i don't remember reading that Einstein thought of his theory of relativity while riding a bicycle following a heavy evening of drinking...