similar to the last time i came to japan, the first few days are spent in awe of actually being here, meeting the people, experiencing the culture, blah de blah de blah. after that the anxiety sets in. no, i am not having any trouble with the food, people, or language. its the constant encroachment of concrete, electric lines, and consumerism into my life. although there are many open spaces in japan, this in only because they are too mountainous to cultivate or develop, otherwise the entire country would be subject to urban planning. i start to tremble every once in a while, getting those nasty dt's from a lack of access to open green areas, swimmable water, and the feeling of something under my feet other than the clack clack of heels as i walk to work. but all is not lost. again, much like last time, an appreciation for the unexpected beauty of the concrete jungle can be seen in home gardens, outlying agricultural areas, and those seductive distant mountains. i went on a bike ride to the next town over, and it was really lovely. the waving townsfolk deep in their waving rice fields made a planned 20 minute ride turn into a spontaneous 4 hour one instead. this island of kyushu has a lot to offer, i only hope i am not too blind to see it. although the acquisition of a motorcycle before my three day weekend later this month will surely help!