Skip to main content

Morioka






So what about Iwate...?   A place I've been through a few times already.   This time  around I spent a week up there taking in the surrounding areas, and seeing the prefecture from a slower pace.    Here's a brief write up on a previous trip through here via the Akita Komachi express bound for Iwate




Morioka, the capital city of Iwate,  is  very conservative, unlike its rural towns where people are a bit warmer.   You can sense the conviviality in the air more in the rural areas than in Morioka city.   It's not a bad thing though.   Just takes a little getting used to.   The capital itself is rudimentary with no unique skyline other than when you're standing on the 14th floor of the Route Inn Hotel where you command the best view of Mount Iwaki and the JR Morioka Station.  It's quite gorgeous at dusk actually.     In comparison, North American cities, especially capitals, are livelier and people tend to be more open and less conservative whereas in the country people are  less open to outsiders, yet are warm on the outside and suspicious of people they don't know which cannot be concealed with the least bit of feigness.   In other words, they are hospitable in a suspicious way and you can sense it.  The exact opposite in Iwate where the country folk are very warm and inviting and the city folk are strange and indifferent.


As I was sitting in a Starbucks in the heart of Morioka at around noon  I quickly noticed that  Moriokans are definitely more conservative and plain looking, like a dry glass of water without the ice.    In Japanese the expression that would best describe Moriokan women in particular would be seisokirei, a term loosely used in Japanese to imply a woman that's  plain, clean and simply beautiful.    Faces are all lightly made up.  Modest wear.   Overall pleasant.   I never notice the men.    At least the people here greet unlike in Tokyo, especially the milque-toast young types.   



Morioka is a thoughtfully planned out city.   There're elevators and pedestrian strips at just about every major crosswalk.   Plenty of maps and easy to read street signs that are in English and Japanese.  Wide sidewalks, plenty of ATMs and convenience stores, and efficient mass transit network.  It's an alarmingly quiet city to be a capital.   The police are incredibly either overweight or over aged and probably have nothing to do all day long.    There is a charm here that can definitely be felt and appreciated if you take some time and soak it all in, but not so much in Morioka, which is a lot like what Tokyo used to be 60 years ago I think; austere.     Morioka does not reflect the soul of Iwate.    It's a city made for elderly with a few very nice little parks and sake shops.   




In my next post I will leave Morioka to re-explore the countryside.



Comments

  1. Starbucks shit! Every where.. They using insects for coffe colouring.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  





Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

Japan Board of Education: Amazing Grace...?

Japan Board of Education Textbook.
Amazing Grace
Shuken Shuppan  Polestar textbook English Communication

Preface:  Japanese / Japan is  one of the leading donors in humanitarian aid around the world.   They have donated billions of yen to charities, developing countries, and startup business to just about every country on the globe.  Some Japanese have even taken matters to the extreme  to the point of poking their noses into hotspot areas like Palestine and Isreal, things the Japanese may want to avoid.  Had Japan shared its borders with an ethnic minority with its own government, the relative peace and calm of this country would be questionable.   No other country can be like nor emulate Japan.   So, where does this spirit of charity and altruism come from exactly?   Why do the Japanese feel they need to save the whole world, while caring very little for its own people?   It's the Board of Education...?  The essay below is one such example of what Japanese kids learn in school,…