How Many Klicks?

Typhoons are on the way and the summer heat has finally started to become a little more tolerable as autumn makes itself known. Of the many things I've looked forward to with this change of season, getting outside and just walking is one item I've wanted to do for months. Walking may not be the fastest way to get from place to place, but it's certainly one of the more enjoyable ways. Not only do we get a little fresh air and exercise, but something that I feel is missing from our lives: an appreciation for details.

Walking in Rural Chiba

When I talk to people who drive everywhere about various elements of a city, I'm often surprised by how little people seem to know about the area. Someone might say "I wish there was a bakery close by" and I'd respond with "Oh, there's one right beside the pharmacy not two blocks from here" only to hear "There's a pharmacy around here?" It seems that when people are behind the wheel of a vehicle their attention is elsewhere1 and a lot of the little gems of a place are completely missed. This is to be expected, of course.

On weekends I like to get out of the house for a few hours to walk somewhere new and travel down unfamiliar roads. This can sometimes lead to some dead ends and awkward moments as people wonder why a foreign guy is heading towards a building at the end of a dirt path, but it's a great opportunity to see things that many local residents simply don't. I used to do the same when living in Canada, too, travelling by foot when time permitted so that I could better appreciate an area. Over the last few years I've met some friendly people who love nothing more than to talk about their neighbourhood, and I've brought Nozomi to a few of these places as well so that she could enjoy some time outside in a new location. I hope to do this again this year before the winter chill makes the ground too cold for her paws.

But as for me, I hope to get back into my daily walking pattern. The pedometer should read 10,000 steps every night during the week, and almost double on the weekends. Depending on the weather and lighting, some of the pictures I take while on the journey may even wind up here … which is something I should do more often.

  1. Hopefully on the road.