Sunday, August 2, 2020

A couple of bicycle rides this week.

We have been in rainy season for the last months.  It feels like it is raining every day, although there are times when it doesn't.  I do not have any fenders so that also means can get wet from the tires, never mind the rain.  :) 

This week, there were two days that the sun came out and I decided to grab my bicycle and head on out.  Here are some pictures I took on my rides. 

First ride was on Thursday, July 30th.  I have not been out to the Arakawa this year yet.  I noticed that it wasn't supposed to rain that day, so I thought I'd see how far I would get.  Here is the route, I took. 
Sorry the focus was on the brake wires, but this is typically the roads I bicycle on.  Sometimes there isn't much room to bicycle between the small sidewalk and not a lot of room in the road lanes. 
The rice is looking like it's coming along well. 
Rice fields which seem like they go on forever. 

I finally got to the Arakawa.  It looked like it was high.  It also looked like it may have overflowed its banks recently.  I usually like to go down the berm to bicycle not far from the water, but the roads down there were blocked off or quite muddy with with water puddles, some going across the whole road.   It took a couple of kilometers before I actually got to see the river. 

Here in Japan, they do manicure their rivers, trees and some paths, however, I have found that along the rivers, the grass is cut only a few times a year. 

This little river flows into the Arakawa. 
This was a nursery.  I loved how they made the wall using various rocks and bricks.  It was an interesting eye catching display. 
It looks like there are tomatoes on it's way to ripening. 
This is the map of the route I took.  This time I bicycled up the Arakawa.  One day, I would like to go down the Arakawa towards Tokyo Bay... maybe one day. 

Saturday, August 1, I woke up to a sunshiny day!  I believe the rainy season may be coming to a close.  That does mean hot and humid weather could be in store.  I looked at my weather app and it did say that it would rain later in the day, so I thought I'd better hop on my bicycle and head out.  I was still a bit sore from Thursday's ride, so I didn't go nearly as far, but it was still a fun ride. 
My first stop was not far from the Niiza Sports fields.  I gathered that on Saturday mornings, these folks come to play croquet, or a version of it.  It looks like they use croquet equipment, but it looks like they are playing a form of golf with croquet balls and mallets. It seems they are enjoying it. 
I ended up going along the Yanesegawa, but further downstream than where I usually walk.  There was construction and the path was sometimes like a cow path and sometimes paved, sometimes gravel and sometimes it was totally grass that led to no where. 

There was a part of the trail where they had one kilometer marked off, every 100 meters, going in both directions.  Quite impressive. 
This is a place where there were a few sunflowers that seem spent.  There is a sunflower festival that Kiyose holds each year, however I did not see any plants and I believe the festival usually is next month...
There were a lot of folks out playing tennis or getting lessons. 
I stopped at Starbucks for an iced latte. 

I have taken a picture of this church's cross from a distance before.  This time I decided to ride past it.  It is a Catholic church, I believe it's called St. Joseph's.  It is a Japanese church.  Impressive that one can see the cross from kilometers away. 
These seemed quite interesting.  I texted my brother and suggested these could replace the ceramic chickens he had at his chicken farm.  :) 

My niece just did a 900 km bicycle trip from Abbotsford, BC to Calgary, Alberta. This ride took me from Tokyo prefecture to Saitama prefecture and back again.  Yup, made it to 2 prefectures, but it really isn't comparable at all going from Abbotsford to Calgary! 
It looks like there's rain on the horizon, time to head home again. 

I did bicycle through some paths between the gardens but ran into this little section that was quite muddy.  I had to spray off my bicycle when I got home. 
This was one place I looked at renting 2 years ago when I was looking for a place.  It seemed like a nice place, however they don't rent to foreigners. 

I can't say I'm terribly sad, I was amazed at the mess by the garbage bins. 
I found a veggie stand and bought some cut flowers and edemame.  Yum! 
So, one mistake I made was to forget my water bottle, filled with ice water, in my sink, in the kitchen when I left.  But have no fear!  There are vending machines all around and you can buy water for ¥100 - ¥120.  I always have some extra change with me, so I was good. 
I believe these are blueberries, one bush isolated along the path. 
This was the route I took, doesn't look very straight does it.  It was a good ride and I'm glad I was able to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.  I am blessed to have the opportunity to explore this little part of God's creation. 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Farmer's Vegetable stands

One thing I really appreciate about living here in Japan is the number of vegetable stands you can find around the Kiyose area.  Just within a kilometer radius of where I live, I know of about 5 - 10 stands or there is one vending machine where the farmer puts produce in and you put the 100 yen in the slot and it opens the door to the  vegetable.  I tend to think about this too late in the day, except for this morning.  I thought I'd hop on my mamachari and bicycle around to see what is available in the vegetable stands around here.  I came away with a decent amount of produce. 

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It is great to be able to purchase directly from the farmers.  At one stand the farmer was there and I greeted him and thanked him for the produce.  You can see them working out in the fields gathering the vegetables some days.  They are usually out early. It is great to have farm fresh food in the house. 
The 7/11 by my house also has a little farmer's market where there are fresh fruits and vegetables, whatever is in season.  I have also been blessed by the landlord sharing the vegetables from her garden right beside where I live. 
I certainly can't complain and feel very grateful. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

May 24

The weather has become warmer and good for bicycle riding.  This afternoon after watching online worship service at Tokyo Union Church, I decided to go on a bicycle ride.  I went out to Mizuko and back, but really when I left, I only just took which ever roads appealed to me.  It was an interesting ride, with a lot of gardens being worked on.  
Watching the neighbourhood.  :) 

The rice fields look like they are being prepped and planted.  
Mizuhodai station on the Tobu Tojo Line.
 It is hard to believe that this is growing only a couple of kilometers from where I live in Tokyo.  Now if I was in Saskatchewan, that would be a different story...
 This is the Cainz and Beisie in Niiza.  The parking lot is totally full.  The order line in Starbucks, was lined up, proper distance apart, outside the door and around the building. 

It was a beautiful day to go on a bicycle ride.  I could tell I haven't been on a long ride for a while because I forgot to bring water with me.  But alas, I am in Japan and you can always find a vending machine that sells water.  If you don't see one of those, there is always the local convenience store! 
A friend of mine posted a song, It's Gonna Be Okay, by Tasha Layton. I downloaded her other singles and they were played while I was riding this afternoon.  I kept praying for all those who are struggling now, because of the big change in our lives with this COVID19 virus.  Many of us (if not all of us) will probably not return to a normal that was like before this virus showed up.  It is always such a comfort that we know God never changes and he still calls us to be witnesses.  Pastor Doug preached this morning on how we continue to be witness to the Gospel of Christ, even though now this looks quite different, we are still witnesses.  No matter what, God will continue to use us for his purposes, walking with us each step of the way.  What a blessing and comfort! What is even more amazing is that God has called me to Tokyo, Japan to do this!