When we went out early Friday night, we couldn’t help but notice the lack of quality and somewhat toxic smell in the air. Even with our corona-masks, our breathing became so compromised that we decided to head back indoors and cut our night short. When tuning into the weather broadcast on the news, I heard a never before description of the forecast. The next few days called for “smoke” and an unhealthy air quality that came with a warning to “stay home.”
The following day was terrible, but waking up Sunday morning was downright scary, being engulfed with this thick smoke. Luckily, there was no smell of fire. But I couldn’t help but think of the John Carpenter film ‘The Fog.’ Having never seen anything like it. I raced for my camera to document the site. And what a frightening site it was.
After a fourteen hour flight from Newark to Narita Airport and a two hour train ride to Hayama. I wanted nothing more than a hot shower and some much needed sleep. So after a little catching up with the in-laws, some dinner and some shots of “Damn if I know” with Kayuri’s dad. It was off to dreamland. With a good eight hours of sleep in us we were able to rise before the sun, have breakfast and head to the nearby beach by foot.
While it had been a good fifteen years since I had been to this particular beach. I remembered the pathway quite well. However, as we came upon the gates of the Hayama Imperial Villa we stopped to ask one of the guards in order to avoid any imperial entanglements. With a smile and a joyous “Hai”, we were pointed towards the entrance the the beach.
As we arrived, about a half dozen surfers and paddlers were finishing up their morning routine.One man in particular finished his morning surf by using the plastic bags he had brought with him to clean the beach of any debris or litter. My wife and I were so moved by the gesture. So moved by the gesture that we soon found ourselves accomplices in his very mindful attempt to keep the small beach free from others carelessness.
And while the day itself was very laid back. The amount of ground we covered gave us quite a workout. From the winding streets to many hills we had to climb on the way back. Perhaps the best part of my day was avoiding any vehicular trappings. No trains, planes or automobiles. Just the sun on my face, the wind on my back and my best friend at my side. Until tomorrow.