When looking at Japan from a distance one would think that the vast majority of the island has been levelled off and paved to make way for buildings, parking lots, and convenience stores1. Looking a little bit closer, one might believe their initial assessment correct. This unfortunate reality makes the little pockets of nature that dot cities all the more appealing for people who want to imagine — if only for a little while — that they're disconnected from the modern world.
There's a decent-sized park just 20 meters south of my house that Nozomi and I like to visit2 that contains no fewer than 100 trees, a baseball diamond, a basketball court, a basic playground, and a splash pool that doesn't seem to be used anymore. It's a large park by Japanese standards and is enjoyed by a large portion of the surrounding neighbourhoods. When Nozomi and I go out for her walks we try to take a different path through the park each time. This was initially done to reduce any sort of monotony from routine but, given the lovely views at any time of year, I doubt Nozomi or I will tire of this place anytime soon.
Perhaps I've said this too many times since moving here in April, but I really like this area. Nozomi has settled right in. There appear to be a lot of young people that the boy can meet and play with at some point. Reiko is close to her work and favourite libraries. And as for me, I can generally unwind and relax without feeling cramped or otherwise claustrophobic thanks to the extra space afforded by living in the suburbs.
While I may often complain about various annoyances involving technology or the day job, there are a lot of genuinely good things within arms reach to offset them.