It is a pretty flat area where we are living. But, running north for sometime, we could see hills in ranges between plain areas. These hills are ranged from the high mountains in Fukushima. It is a farming area. Sparsely populated. The rice was alrady harvested. Very few people on the roads.
Driving through those rice paddies, I have reached the hot spa which I had destinated without knowing what place it was. It was on a top of a hill. But, unfortunately and inexplicably, closed. No one there. The facilities were vacant and ruined.
I didn't know of this hot spa as I told. But I am sure it was constructed in the era of bubble economy in '80s. Those days, our government was required to invest for public enterprises by the US. The investment was up, they say, to 80 trillion USD. Our government made a schema to have local governments invest for them with their local governmental bonds. The government was supposed to pay for that as subsidies to the local governments on yearly basis. The Prime Minister Koizumi has cut that subsidies to them all of sudden, which resulted in the financial crisis in quite some local governments all over Japan. In addition to higher proportion rate of elderly in the countrysides, it has made them fall into the present difficult situation. I am not sure if this hot spa was one of those investments, which have financially failed at many places. Anyhow, it has reminded me of those facilities or buildings built in those days which have been ruined thereafter.
From this place, we could enjoy a beautiful scenary over the hills.
I consulted to the GPS navigator again, which gave me another hot spa for a change. It is named Kurobane Hot Spa just south of the border to Fukushima Prefecture. I ran the country road without much traffic. I found a big tomb site in the ancient age beside the road. It is over 300 feet in length. There were pine trees growing on it. The grass was neatly cut there. It seemed to be prepared for sight seeing. Though I don't know exactly how old this tomb was, generaly speaking, such a tomb must be constructed by and for a local dominator in the 5 or 6th century. It is surprising that there are hundreds of such tomb sites in this area. It is mysterious why they have constructed such tombs for themselves those days. Maybe, primitive religion firmly believed by them forced them to do so. A book of history in this era told me it was a symbol to get the tribe united those days as well.
It has not taken me so long before reaching the hot spa. It was still on a hill just next to a athletic field. Fortunately, it has not been collapsed yet! But there were only few people in the facility. A gorgeous building and beautifully arranged garden.
The bath was a large one. One indoor, the other outdoor. The hot water is transparent without no sulfar odor. I soaked myself for some 20 min and got out of there.
When got out, I felt the cool breeze on my face. Relaxed enough. It was the time for me to go back home. On the way back, there were scenes typical for our countryside. I used to drive with my family as well as my mother in this area. So everywhere looked familiar to me even though I was not sure when I drove around a particular place. Much fond memories everywhere.
In a few weeks, the foliage might turn colorful. The sun was fast to set. Mother used to tell the sun was running down the horizen so soon in the fall. I felt as if she were on the side seat telling that to me.
Near to our home, I dropped in a supermarket where I bought foods for supper. I have returned to the normal routine again. Relaxing but a little bit lonely trip.
I have been listening the following musics on the way.
Mendelssohn Piano Trio Nr1
Brahms Piano Quartet Nr1,2,3