Sharing and Caring Event

The “Sharing and Caring” event was hosted at a week long event at the Hikarie Gallery space on the 8F Aiima from August 6-12th.

Sharing with people during the bad times and caring during the good times.

The idea is that the NPOs in Tokyo who are focused on the same population both as a volunteer base as well as the beneficiaries can help host and event for the week with a daily showcase of the work they have done. For instance, with the orphan population in Japan.

We set up the gallery space with artwork and information about the NPOs and homes we support.

Press Release:YouMeWe NPO Succeeds in GlobalGiving's Accelerator, Becomes Recognized Partner of GlobalGiving

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YouMeWe NPO Succeeds in GlobalGiving's Accelerator, Becomes Recognized Partner of GlobalGiving

(July 6, 2018) YouMeWe NPO announced today that they have graduated from the GlobalGiving Accelerator program, gaining entry into the GlobalGiving marketplace and becoming a recognized partner of GlobalGiving. As part of the Accelerator, YouMeWe NPO successfully raised $5,520 from 63 unique individual donors to support their project, "Digital Citizens."

"We're thrilled to have YouMeWe NPO as part of our community. YouMeWe NPO has met our rigorous vetting standards for trust and community support, and we're committed to providing tools, training, and support as they learn, grow and become more effective," said Mari Kuraishi, President and Co-Founder of GlobalGiving. "GlobalGiving donors value the opportunity to support nonprofits like YouMeWe NPO, knowing that they'll get regular updates about how their donations are put to work."

"Starting with career assessment tests for the future, we have several programs where the children living in group homes in Japan can choose to sign up & pursue the skills we are helping them with. 1) NightZooKeeper English training which is a game and online 2) Helping connect children with elderly to teach them ICT Skills (how to Skype, how to use a smart phone and order online as career training 3) Train them to be Japanese language instructors for the future and 4) Robotics courses & coding.", said Michael Clemons, project leader at YouMeWe NPO. "Visit our project, 'Digital Citizens' to learn how even $10 can make a difference: http://goto.gg/33595. We're $4,480 away from our overall goal of $10,000."

About YouMeWe NPO
OUR MISSION.Our primary mission is to help children growing up in institutionalized homes prepare for life outside the home once they reach the age of 18. We offer support programs that increase a child's opportunity to become a productive and financially independent young adult in their community. This means helping kids develop and hone critical skills such as language, writing, digital literacy, etc., and ultimately increase confidence levels that can lead to new opportunities and choices in the future. Providing tutoring support, internship opportunities, as well as guidance on university/technical school options will offer children another critical layer of support as they start to make plans for their future. Developed skill sets, solid communication abilities, and a thorough understanding of their options will help set kids on the right path towards successful independence. This is no easy task for any child, but it can prove especially challenging for kids without continual 1:1 attention. It is our hope that by providing educational and mentoring-based support, we will be improving their overall chances.

About GlobalGiving
GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community that connects nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country around the world. GlobalGiving makes it possible for local organizations to access the funding, tools, training, and support they need to become more effective and make the world a better place. Any registered nonprofit is welcome to apply for the GlobalGiving Accelerator Program: GlobalGiving.org/accelerator/

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WE HAVE 24 HOURS LEFT TO JOIN GLOBAL GIVING AS A FULL MEMBER

PLEASE DONATE HERE:

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I wanted to share a personal story and why we do what we do.

I was the product of a teenage pregnancy. My parents were just out of high school.

For numerous reasons I never met my biological father so while I was not technically an orphan, I always wondered.

I had a name and a name of his sister. That is all. In those days, we just had the phone book. So I went through the phone book and never could find anyone.

My mother, when she became sick the first time, turned to creating her legacy of genealogy the analogue way of tracking the family tree and sending photocopied newsletters to all of the relatives on a monthly basis.

Once I moved to Japan, we relied on fax machines and then eventually the “internet” to keep in touch.

When the internet came along, I realized I could continue to look for my aunt with the unique name and so did searches, paid for info, looked all over the country but never was quite successful.

Years went passed. My mother unfortunately did not live passed 49 and so me having just turned 50 has been a eye opening experience.

Yet it was in 2007 when I was asked to play Santa in one of the children’s homes in Japan so over the many years tried to do what I could. I was offered to be the director of Living Dreams, as many of you know.

And it was a donor, who had moved on to another company but came up to me at a party and said, “You should contact the Masons. They give $1,000,000 a year away to charity.” I told him my great grandfather had been a mason. Another friend said, “If your great grandfather had been a mason, you should try to be one.”

I went online that night to the now digitized version of our family tree on Ancestry.com.

I updated the names of my twin daughters and while I was about to close the site, I scrolled over my mother’s name and the data has been improved quite a bit since 2010 when I was on the site last. If fact, it had the marriage records of her marrying my biological father and while I had thought he had passed away by then, he hadn’t.

And by doing those Internet searches way into the night I found that he was remarried an living in Fresno, California and that I had sisters I did not know about.

So, I made a copy of my baby photo and business card and sent it to the address online and received a message from one of my new found sisters via LinkedIN (very modern) meeting one’s siblings on LinkedIn!?!

I have since met almost everyone in the family on that side. I met the aunt who I couldn’t find and found that there are two more.

I have nieces and nephews and very happy to have them in our lives along with my own siblings from birth.

The phone book couldn’t take me to where I wanted to go. My paternal grandparents are buried in the same mausoleum as my great grandfather in Napa…yet our paths never crossed.

If I had never been invited to play Santa, I would never have known there are 30,000 children living in homes in Japan.

I would have never met that donor.

The conversation would never have taken place.

And now my life is quite complete.

Technology and connectivity matters.

That is why we do the work we do with the kids in Japan. 

To connect them to a future or information so that they don’t just rely on a phonebook.

When is the last time you left your phone at home and went without wifi for a day.

Imagine going 18 years...

....or in my case 48 years.

Global Giving Bonus Wednesday

Dear All, TO DONATE TO OUR CAMPAIGN, CLICK HERE

Sharing & Caring 2008 artwork &  photo                by Jårg Geismar

Sharing & Caring 2008 artwork &  photo                by Jårg Geismar



The June Accelerator is off to a great start! We're impressed with this group's energy and enthusiasm. So far, over 200 organizations from more than 50 countries have secured their first donor. Bravo! 

No matter where your organization is on the main leaderboardnext week is going to be a game changer. Why? Because the Accelerator Bonus Day is Wednesday, June 20th

Bonus Day is an exhilarating opportunity to get ahead; to use matching funds and cash prizes to leverage additional funding for your vital work. 

BOOKMARK BONUS DAY

When: The Bonus Day will last 24 hours, from 00:00:01 to 23:59:59 EDT on Wednesday, June 20th. 

How can we win matching? The $10,000 Incentive Fund will be proportionally divided between organizations that activate during the day. 

Example: If your organization raises 5% of the total amount raised by all Accelerators on Bonus Day, you will receive 5%, or $500, of the Incentive Fund. 

Too much math? Don't worry! GlobalGiving will run the calculations for you every 3 minutes on the special Bonus Day leaderboard.

How can we win a cash prize? At the end of Bonus Day, the project with the most funds raised will win a $1,000 cash prize; the project with the most one-time donors will win $500; and the project with the most recurring donors on Bonus Day will win $500.  

Important Note: Only online donations up to $5,000 per donor per project will count towards winning Bonus Day prizes. 

Will Bonus Day results count towards the Accelerator goal? Absolutely! The Main Accelerator leaderboard will be capturing all of your donor activity throughout Wednesday Bonus Day. Incentive prizes from GlobalGiving on Bonus Day, however, are considered extra and will not be reflected in your total count towards graduating.  

 

Please join us in our campaign on Global Giving

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“It was in 2007 when I returned to Japan from Australia and was asked by my friend Richard to play Santa at an orphanage in Hiroo that I first learned that there were orphanages in Japan.

At the same time, I learned that my roommate in college who invited me to Japan in 1989 had his first child and happened to have Down’s Syndrome.

These two things were in the back of my mind when I started my new role at Barclays as COO. I quickly started the Lunch Club where we would invite different speakers to the firm for a lunch with the Operations group.

One of the speakers happened to be Taniguchi-san who had also had a child with Down’s Syndrome and decided to start a support group for families who have children with disABILITIES and to this day the Palette Bakery is running in Shibuya. We will be hosting them in next week at our sponsor COLT’s colleague appreciation day; where people buy cookies and attach notes to express their appreciation for support during the year. At Barclays we sold $7,000 in cookies, in one day.

Later in 2008, Amy and Miho (now YouMeWe board members) had approached me about a summer camp idea for orphans living in Japan. Barclays funded the summer camp Designing Artists Academy (DAA) the first two years.

Over the past ten years through Living Dreams and now YouMeWe, we have been building up the network with the homes in Japan.

While in the beginning it was about a top down approach of offering Digital Citizenship training, we stepped back and decided to look at things from a bottom up perspective.

The staff were very concerned about how the children would find jobs after 18 when they leave the home. At the same time we started learning more about the children’s individual stories. This the reason we started the Career Assessment tests so the children can see what their possibilities are based on their aptitude.

This has helped fuel the programs that YouMeWe are focused on.

The children who are not 100% Japanese and had English in the beginning of their lives but slowly losing it as they are now in a pure Japanese environment.

K-san whose father does not live in Japan and his mother died of cancer now lives at St.Francis much like Y-san who lives at St.Joseph’s lead us to reach out to NightZooKeeper and start the English in the Cloud program. The enthusiasm for this course has been initially good but as children with many programs, they need to be paired with dedicated teachers to keep the enthusiasm and participation up.

T-san who lost his grandmother in the tsunami in Sendai in 2011 and came to one of the homes suffering from nightmares and as soon as we gifted the computers and he was able to focus on the infinite of the software programs, the nightmares stopped and he has recently graduated high school and landed a job programming.

The half Filipino or Indonesian or Bangladeshi child, lead us to start labs in the Philippines, Indonesia as well as Malaysia and now the refugee community center in Greece to eventually connect the kids with children from different parts of the world in preparation to help them become Japanese Language instructors should they wish to do so.

A san who build his own computer from parts and is heavily into coding will join a program in August connecting the elderly with youth to learn IchigoJam coding. In a country with more people over 65 per capita and less under 15 per capita we envision “Obaa-chan” in the cloud as a program that can connect the youth with the elderly and lead to a sustainable job teaching ICT skills, how to SKYPE with their family and order taxis and groceries online using that SmartPhone which still perplexes them.

Recently met with a Waseda MBA class to discuss over 100 ideas that were compiled on how to connect them in the future.

A san is also the reason we recently created a Code Club in Japan to embrace his passion for coding and collaborate with volunteers to bring coding to children as part of their inevitable future which will require it.

When I first arrived in Japan 25 years ago, I did not have a computer or a mobile phone. I cannot even imagine the technology that my own children will use because it has not been invented yet nor can I advise them on what job to focus on as 60% of jobs in the next ten years have not been created yet.

Communication, collaboration and looking at the world holistically is the formula for children’s success in the 21st century and we try to offer all in a creative way at YouMeWe.

With donations, we provide computers where necessary for 18 year olds graduating high school and going on to employment or higher education.

We are focused on rolling out a Robotics course to teach the children as young as possible about skills they may find not only useful but more importantly, employable in their future.

Please join us in our campaign on Global Giving to become a partner with them in helping raise the remaining $4,800 USD from 39 unique donors over the next 17 days until the end of June.

Thank you,

Michael

Link to our project: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/digital-citizens/

Obaa-chan in the cloud project with Waseda Business School

Cindy, Chee Ming, Michael and Naveen,

 

Just want to say THANK YOU for giving an wonderful opportunity to our students. 

 

Most of them have never done "design thinking" exercise, so I believe they learned a lot --- although it was an extremely condensed version.

 

Hope ideas generated through the exercises gave some insight to Michael.

 

I am enclosing photos we took. Feel free to use/upload the photos if you want!

 

Thank you again, for everything!

 

___________________________________________________________

Hiroshi Kanno

 

Professor
Waseda Business School

(Graduate School of Business and Finance)

Waseda University

Colt Bike Ride Sponsorship

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The seven Colt Asia riders will join the other 100+ "Colties" to ride 600km distance over 4 days between Milan and Rome. The funds raised through this site will be donated to a charity, "YouMeWe", that works to empower and enhance the lives of children in Japan.

Please donate generously to help make the difference to the lives of those children.

All donors will receive a letter from YouMeWe on behalf of the children they support to thank them for their donation.

Best regards,

Colt Charity Ride Fund Raising Team

@Colt Asia

CLICK HERE TO DONATE:

https://gogetfunding.com/empowering-and-enriching-orphans-in-japan-2/

 

Career Assessment / Mentoring

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Career Assessment / Mentoring

When children turn 15, we offer career assessment testing so they can recognize their aptitude for certain subject matters, as well as potential developing interests. Test results highlight types of courses they might study in university or technical school, as well as a ranked list of jobs associated with their specific results. We analyze the results and provide guidance on how best to move forward. Would they be interested in an internship opportunity? Do they need counseling on university or technical school options? Or maybe they would like tutoring support in a particular area. The test results set a conversation in motion to help guide children on their future possibilities and the correlating steps that follow these options. Providing kids with several years of preparation and training before they start the job search or university equips them with so much more confidence and experience.

Career Mentoring

Seeking professionals who are willing to be paired with a child (normally 15 years old +) as they look to develop a career path. This includes mapping out a general plan with milestone markers to help them reach their goals. In addition, provide specific training and preparation tools such as interview scenarios, email correspondence etiquette, meeting presentation skills and using software in real-world scenarios (excel spreadsheet, PPT slides, etc.). We require a commitment of a quarterly meeting either at the home or online.  We ask for this commitment to continue until the child reaches the age of 18.

Interested in supporting Career Assessment/Mentoring programs in the future?
We are interested in hearing from companies that are able to offer special internship opportunities to kids who have proven themselves to be dedicated in their academic studies as well as their ability to make a serious commitment towards their future. These internships can help provide real-world experiences that will bring tremendous value to their future career and overall maturity. If you would like to discuss possible internship opportunities, please contact hello@youmewenpo.org

Press Release:Colt、CSRパートナーYouMeWeの児童養護施設の子どもを サポートするファンドレイジングプロジェクト「IVA C.A.R.E.S.」を支援

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2018年4月 30日

Coltテクノロジーサービス株式会社

ColtCSRパートナーYouMeWeの児童養護施設の子どもを

サポートするファンドレイジングプロジェクト「IVA C.A.R.E.S.」を支援

ColtグループのAPAC部門として法人向け広帯域ネットワークをグローバルで展開するColt テクノロジーサービス株式会社(本社:東京都港区、代表取締役社長、アジアCCO兼アジア代表:日置健二、以下「Colt」)は、2018年のCSRパートナーであり、児童養護施設で育つ子ども達を支援するNPO団体YouMeWeのファンドレイジングプロジェクト、「IVA C.A.R.E.S.(Curiosity, Action, Reflection, Embracing and Sharing)(以下、Iva C.A.R.E.S.)」を応援していることをお知らせします。イギリス人女性イヴァ・メッキ(Iva Mekki)氏が東海道五十三次に立ち寄りながら東京から京都まで歩きファンドレイジングする「IVA C.A.R.E.S.」は、2018年3月20日に東京をスタートし、4月26日に京都に到着しました。

YouMeWeは、東京を拠点に10年以上に渡りNPO(非営利団体)として活動しています。YouMeWeの活動目的は、児童養護施設で育つ子供達を支援し、彼らの大学進学や専門学校への道を手助けする事です。子供達が18歳になり施設を離れなければならない時に、将来安定した職業につき金銭的にも社会人として自立していかれるよう支援しています。

47都道府県を歩いて訪れる計画を立てていたメッキ氏は、YouMeWeのミッションに賛同し、YouMeWeのファンドレイザーとして旅をすることを決めました。本プロジェクトは、東海道五十三次に立ち寄り東京から京都まで歩くことから始まり、児童養護施設を訪問し子ども達からそれぞれ興味のあることを書いた折り鶴を受け取りながら京都に向かいました。旅の様子をブログに掲載し、子どもたちに元気を与えると同時に、YouMeWeのミッションを広め、寄付を募っています。

    

子ども達の好奇心を書いた折り鶴

子ども達の好奇心を書いた折り鶴

イヴァ・メッキ氏

イヴァ・メッキ氏

 

 

 

 

京都に到着するまでの毎日の旅の様子を掲載しているブログは、こちらをご覧ください。

YouMeWeのウェブサイト(日本語) https://www.youmewenpo.org/news/  

イヴァ・メッキ氏のウェブサイト(英語) http://www.ivamekki.com/

本ファンドレイジングプロジェクトの収益は、日本橋・京都間にある児童養護施設をサポートするために使われる予定です。

YouMeWeについて

YouMeWe(創設者:マイケル・クレモンズ(Michael Clemons))は、、東京を拠点に10年以上にわたり児童養護施設で育つ子どもたちをサポートしているNPO団体です。最重要ミッションは 、児童養護施設で育つ子ども達が施設を離れる18歳になった時に、大学や専門学校へ進学や就職ができて経済的に独立するために十分な能力をもつことをサポートする事です。

主に、キャリア形成プログラム、デジタルリテラシープログラム、コミュニケーション(言語・アート)プログラムを通してサポートしています。現在デジタルスキルは働く上で必要なスキル・知識となっていますが、児童養護施設で育つ子どもたちは同年代の子ども達と比べてインターネットへのアクセスが限られており、デジタルスキルの習得をサポートすることは経済的自立の支援に繋がります。

YouMeWeの詳細については、こちらをご覧ください。 https://www.youmewenpo.org/ 

 

Colt について

Coltは、先進的な広帯域ネットワークサービスの提供によって顧客のデジタル・トランスフォーメーションを実現するリーダー企業です。Colt IQ ネットワークは、ヨーロッパ、アジアおよび北米の主要都市にて800以上のデータセンターおよび25,000以上の商用ビル群を接続しており、さらに拡大し続けています。

またColtは、これまでカスタマー・ファーストの理念に基づいてサービスを提供し、大量のデータを扱う企業を中心に、約30ヶ国、200以上の都市に拠点を置くお客様より高い評価を頂いているほか、SDN(Software-Defined Network)とNFV(ネットワーク機能仮想化)分野における革新的かつ先進的な企業としても広く認知されています。

Coltは業界でも安定した財源基盤のもと、競争力の高い価格で最良のカスタマー・エクスペリエンスを提供しています。

詳細についてはColtのウェブサイトをご覧ください。http://www.colt.net/ja

報道関係者からのお問い合わせ先

クレアブ株式会社

ColtテクノロジーサービスPR担当:多田/宮津/寒田

TEL: 03-5404-0640  FAX: 03-5404-7120

E-Mail: colt@kreab.com

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Press Release: Colt Supports “IVA C.A.R.E.S.” Fundraising Project for Children in Orphanages with CSR Partner YouMeWe

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Colt Supports “IVA C.A.R.E.S.” Fundraising Project for Children in Orphanages with CSR Partner YouMeWe

Tokyo, 30 April 2018 –Colt Technology Services announced that Colt is supporting the IVA C.A.R.E.S. (Curiosity, Action, Reflection, Embracing and Sharing) fundraising project carried out by the NPO YouMeWe, Colt’s 2018 CSR partner which supports children growing up in orphanages. IVA C.A.R.E.S. is conducting fundraising with Iva Mekki of Great Britain. Iva has traveled the historic Tokaido road, stopping at each of the 53 stations along the way. Starting in Tokyo on March 20, 2018, she made the journey to Kyoto on foot, arriving safely on April 26. 

The group of YouMeWe has been operating out of Tokyo for over a decade and recently formed as a NPO. Their most important mission is to support children growing up in orphanages in order to enable them to advance to university or vocational school, gain employment and gain necessary skills to become economically independent when they leave the facilities at the age of 18.

Ms. Mekki, who plans to walk through all 47 prefectures of Japan, sympathized with the YouMeWe mission and decided to use her journey as a fundraiser for the organization. The Project began with Ms. Mekki departing from Tokyo on foot. On her way to Kyoto, she visited orphanages and collected paper cranes from the children with messages about their interests. Posting the details of her journey on her blog as she went, she provided encouragement to the children she met, all while spreading the mission of YouMeWe and calling for donations.

<Paper cranes with the interests of children>

<Paper cranes with the interests of children>

 

 

 

 

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&lt;Ms. Iva Mekki&gt;

    <Ms. Iva Mekki>

 

 

       

 

See the link below for her blog detailing each day of her journey.

YouMeWe website (Japanese)  https://www.youmewenpo.org/news/

Iva Mekki’s website (English)     http://www.ivamekki.com/

 

The funds raised in the project will be used to support orphanages between Nihonbashi and Kyoto as well as our Designing Artists Academy Camp (DAA).

 

About YouMeWe

YouMeWe (Founder: Michael Clemons) is an NPO based in Tokyo that has been supporting children growing up in orphanages for over a decade. Their most important mission is to support children raised in orphanages to enable them to advance to university or vocational school, gain employment and gain necessary skills to become economically independent when they leave the facilities at the age of 18.

YouMeWe primarily provides support through career building programs, digital literacy programs, and communication (language and art) programs. At present, digital skills are essential for modern jobs, but Internet access for children growing up in orphanages is limited compared to other children of the same age. Supporting the acquisition of digital skills will allow these children to have better economic opportunities in the future.

Please see the following link for details on YouMeWe. https://www.youmewenpo.org/  

About Colt
Colt aims to be the leader in enabling customers’ digital transformation through agile and on-demand, high bandwidth solutions. The Colt IQ Network connects over 800 data centers across Europe, Asia, and North America’s largest business hubs, with over 25,000 on net buildings and growing.

Colt has built its reputation on putting customers first. Customers include data-intensive organizations spanning over 200 cities in nearly 30 countries. Colt is a recognized innovator and pioneer in Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV). Privately owned, Colt is one of the most financially sound companies in its industry and able to provide the best customer experience at a competitive price. For more information, please visit www.colt.net.

Press Contact

Nola Pocock -Director - Global Communications, PR & AR

+447917714377nola.pocock@colt.net

 

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A very special thanks to Balloon Circus

Connectivity Matters!

From an enquiry email last year to lighting up the faces of dozens and dozens of children at Iwate's Taiyo Gakuen, Sendai Tensien, Fukushima Aiikuen, Shirakawa Gakuen;Tokyo's St.Francis Home, St.Joseph's home, Kiyose Kodomo no ie, Matsubaen; Nagoya's Wakamatsu Ryo and Jiyugakuen.

Crossing oceans, cultures and languages. Laughter and play are the real bridge connecting us all!

http://www.ballooncircus.org

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Iva C.A.R.E.S. reaches Kyoto at the end of your Walk-a-thon...

Just as technology has brought these antique prints alive like those of the 53 Stations of Tokaido, we wish to bring the curiosity of the children alive using technology.

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1+5+16+30+459+600+30,000=Iva C.A.R.E.S.

 

1 person is all it takes at YouMeWe to make a difference and that person is Iva Mekki. She started on a journey from Nihonbashi to Kyoto because she heard that only 5% of the children living in institutional homes have access to WiFi. She learned that only 16% vs the national average of 60% go on to university. She walked.....for 30 days from Nihonbashi to Kyoto along the 53 stations of Tokaido 459 kilometers spreading the word of www.youmewenpo.org  There are over 600 homes in Japan with 30,000 children.

YouMeWe is a NPO to help the children not only gain access to WiFi but once they have access, to take a career assessment test to open up their eyes to the horizon of possibilities in their futures.  We request all children in the homes we have relationships with at 15 years old to take the career assessment test and once completed, we offer English training through www.nightzookeeper.com and are currently in the process of matching them with mentors in the community who can work with them from 15-18 in order to prepare them for a job after they leave high school.

The 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō (東海道五十三次 Tōkaidō Gojūsan-tsugi)  The Tōkaidō road, linking the Shogun's capital, Edo, to the imperial one, Kyoto was the main travel and transport artery of old Japan. It was developed during the Edo Period to further strengthen the shogunate control over the whole country.

The 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō (東海道五十三次 Tōkaidō Gojūsan-tsugi)

The Tōkaidō road, linking the Shogun's capital, Edo, to the imperial one, Kyoto was the main travel and transport artery of old Japan. It was developed during the Edo Period to further strengthen the shogunate control over the whole country.

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Iva Mekki is started her Iva C.A.R.E.S. (Curiousity, Action, Reflection, Embracing and Sharing) 1 year journey across the 47 Prefectures in March 2018.

Starting from watching NHK documentaries with an elderly friend every morning, Iva's deep curiosity of Japan and its people has been sparked and she has now made it a mission to visit every prefecture of Japan by foot.

Along the way, she stopped by homes and spread the news of YouMeWe NPO and collected origami cranes from children with their own curiosities written on it, so that they may be inspired to explore what deeply interests them too. 

Below are origami cranes and curiosities collected from children in Matsubaen homes in Tokyo.

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Her journey started by from the historical Nihonbashi in Tokyo, and followed the Tokaido route to Kyoto, along the famous 53 stations. This trip has brought us to our 10th anniversary of Designing Artists Academy in Summer "The HeART of the city" where we have artists volunteering to teach the children of the homes various art forms over a week and a half.

Our 53 Stations of IOT

In order to scale the DIGITAL CITIZENS program for YouMeWe NPO , we endeavored on a funding campaign along with Iva to raise funds for the orphanages.

With the funds raised we will support the children’s homes between Nihonbashi and Kyoto (or homes in Tokyo and Nagoya) in collaboration with Santa & Friends through the purchase of items or services that they need for the homes, and for our annual DAA Arts Camp.

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Day 33,34,35,36 of Iva C.A.R.E.S. Walk-a-thon to Kyoto

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Yes, you've already heard. I've made it to Kyoto!!!

そうです。もう聞いているかもしれないけれども、とうとう京都に着きました!!!

 

But hey, let's do this chronologically shall we? :)

だけどちょっと待って、ちゃんと時間を遡ってみてみましょう。笑顔

 

Day 33. I woke up in the monk's house. Slept amazingly. While his wife is preparing breakfast, the monk gives me presents: four keychains for my family, some photos of tokaido ukiyoe, a beautiful thread-cover notebook with a tokaido ukiyoe on it and a few prayers inside,  and power stone bracelet.

第33日目。和尚さんの家で目覚める。とても良く眠れた。奥さんが朝ごはんを用意している間、和尚さんがプレゼントをくれる。私の家族の分も含めて4つのキーホルダーと、東海道五十三次の浮世絵の写真、浮世絵の絵が表紙になっていて中に幾つかのお祈りがあるとても綺麗な紐閉じのノートブック、そしてご利益のある石のブレスレット。

 

How so surprising and extremely kind and thoughtful!!!

とても優しくて、びっくりで、とても心が篭っている!!!

 

There was something extra special about his presents too. It was as if he knew exactly what was right for me. From the notebook to the composition of the stones of the bracelet. In some ways, it was more right than I could have known myself...

彼のプレゼントには特に深い意味がある。彼がまるで、私にとって何が一番であるかを知っていたような感じ。ノートブックからブレスレットの型まで。多分、私が自分で理解していた以上に私にとって良いのだと思う。

 

We have breakfast with his son, chat, and then at 9, the husband goes to start his prayers and the son drives me to where they picked me up last evening. As we say goodbye and I thank the wife, she says it was her happiness and that I should return. I'm so touched and wished I could communicate how grateful I am!

彼の息子さんと朝ごはんを食べて、おしゃべりをし、そして9時に、和尚さんはお経を始め、息子さんが昨日迎えてくれたところまで送ってくれた。さよならを言って奥さんにお礼を言うと、私がまた戻るのが彼女の幸せだと言った。とても感動して、どれだけ有り難いかをもっときちんと伝えられればよかったと思った。

 

Tokaido. Back to the tokaido.

東海道だ。また東海道へ戻った。

 

Some days are so magical that it seems like one long dream. Today was such a day. I passed by lush forests, large rivers, ancient trees and shrines, watched turtles climb out of a lake and just chill on a pipeline.

時には、まるで魔法のようで、1つの長い夢かと思う。今日はそんな日だった。深く茂った森の側や、幾つかの大きな川、大昔の木々、幾つかの神社の横を進んだ、亀が湖から出て登ってきてパイプで休むのを見た。

 

Realizing I had crossed into Mie-ken was exciting! Until I heard people talk. They sound so different! An old man asked the usual where/when/whats and then showed me an old house from Meiji period and I had to try really hard to understand his accent!

三重県へちょうど入った事に気がつく! そして人の声が聞こえる。言葉が随分違うように聞こえる!おじいさんがいつものように、何処から来たのか、何時来たのか、何をしているのか、と尋ねた。そして、明治時代からの古い家を見せてくれた。彼の方言を理解しようと私は必死だった!

 

Before the sun sets, a golden light fills the skies and filters through the tree leaves. Everything looks magical in such light.

日が沈む前に、空が黄金色で満たされ、 木々の間を光が刺す。こんな光の中では、全てが魔法のようだ。

 

When the sun sets and darkness takes over, it's me, traditional houses, and the stars. I keep walking. Eventually, I find a place to camp but very desperate for a bathroom and none it sight (the agony!) I dash into a restaurant to use theirs.

日が沈み暗闇が覆う、私と、伝統的な家々、そして星だけになる。歩き続ける。やっとキャンプする場所を見つけるが、トイレに行きたくてしょうがない。どこにも見当たらない。(これは苦痛だ!)私はレストランに走りこんで使わせてもらった。

 

As soon as I walk it, everyone stops and stares. Not the usual split-second stare, but a i-will-indulge-in-a-good-few-seconds stare. Multiple times. I don't mind staring, I understand I am a strange sight in Japan haha, but as I had to compose just enough civility to make it to the bathroom, it was a bit awkward haha.

私が歩くと、皆が止まり私を見る。いつものちょっと見るだけのものじゃない。長い2,3秒かけてじっくり見るやつだ。何度も。見られるのは気にならない。私が日本では珍しいだろうからそれは分かる、笑。しかし、私はトイレまで行く時に、焦っていない雰囲気を出さなければならなかった。とても気まずかった、はは。

 

Camped at the edge of mountains. Little, rough sleep,  but when stars are shining above you, it doesn't really matter.

山の麓でキャンプをした。少し強行の睡眠。しかし星が真上で輝いているし、気にしない。

 

Day 34. Lovely walk, beautiful weather, stunning scenery. The scenery here is perhaps the best so far! Steep climbs through thick trees. Hidden stone shrines. Gushing rivers and little water falls. At one point I find myself stuck on a highway with massive trucks zooming past me (scary!) but then I spot a sakura and all is well (they were fading away in Shizuoka!)

第34日目。気持ちの良い徒歩だ。天気も素晴らしい、目を見張るような景色。ここの景色は今までで一番かもしれない!生い茂った木々の中の急坂を進む。隠れた石の神社が幾つか見つかる。激流の川や瀧。途中で、大通りで何台かの大きなトラックが私の横を駆け抜けて行くので止まらなければならなかった(怖い怖い!)しかし、その後桜を見つけたので、すべては良し。(静岡では桜は段々散っていたんだ!)

 

I nap in a field of grass and wake up to a man speaking. Right before me on the road is a group of Japanese ppl with a guide. And yes, I can smell it off them...fellow tokaido walkers! I joined them for a short while and had a chat then got back to the route alone.

草の畑でひと寝して、男の人が話すのに目を覚ます。私の前の道には、ガイドさんと一緒の日本人のグループがいる。そして、そう、私には分かる、、、同じ東海道五十三次を歩く仲間達だ!彼らと少し一緒に歩き、おしゃべりをして、また独りルートへ戻る。

 

An old lady shows me around a tokaido musuem (note: while I struggle to understand her accent!) and at last, even though nature is by far by favourite scenery, I am glad to make it to a town with a shopping mall. Food. Laundry. And a massive park to camp in. Exhausted, I fall asleep at 9pm.

お婆さんが東海道五十三次の博物館を案内してくれる。(注:私の方は、彼女の方言を理解しようと一生懸命!)そして、ついに、私は自然が断然に好きな景色だけれども、商店街のある町に着いたのは嬉しい。食事、洗濯。そしてキャンプのできる大きな公園。ヘトヘトで、9時に寝てしまう。

 

I wake up to a horrible feeling in my gut. It's 12:30 am. The park is empty and the lights are all out. I look around, see nothing, hear nothing. But the horrible feeling stays. I continue peering in the darkness and finally see something: in the far distance,  two men are walking towards me.

何か妙な悪い感覚に目が覚める。朝の0:30分だ。公園には誰も居なく、明かりも消えている。見回しても何も無い、聞こえない。しかしなにか悪い予感がする。暗闇をずっと見つめていると、やっと何かが見える。ずっと遠くに、二人の男の人が私の方へ歩いてくる。

 

Without delay, as quietly as I can, I slip my trainers on, leave my backpack but take my small bag with valuables, and walk away, quickly.

遅れを取らず、できるだけ早く、トレーナーを着て、リュックを置いたまま、貴重品の入った小さな袋だけ持って歩く。なるべく早く。

 

I look back. They are still following me. I run up a slope and see a single car parked with its lights on. Perhaps it's their's?  I avoid and look back again and see them again.

後ろを振り返る。彼らはまだ追っかけてくる。坂まで走って一台の車が光が着いたまま止まっているのを見つける。もしかしたら、彼らのかな?車を避けて後ろを見る。まだ彼らが見える。

 

I dash for the main road and speed down at a maintainable speed. Finally, I see a girl walking on the road and feel much better. I look behind me again but they aren't there. They hadn't followed. I make it to a konbini,  dear konbini, and get a coffee and call my best friend.

大通りまで走って、歩けるスピードまでゆっくりにした。やっと、1人の女の人が道を歩いているのを見つけてかなり安心する。後ろをまた振り向くと彼らは居ない。追っかけては来なかった。コンビニについて、おおコンビニよ、コーヒーを買って親友に電話をする。

 

"You know you can't camp anymore, right?"

"Yes, I know"

“キャンプはしてはいけないって事は分かってるでしょ?”

“分かってる。”
 

I stay at the konbini until sunrise (so glad they didn't kick me out) and then go back to get my backpack. My things are scattered everywhere. Was it the two men or a bird? Only reason I question is because my container of kimchi is ripped open haha.

朝日がでるまでコンビニに居座る(店員さんに追い出されなくて良かった)そして、リュックを取りに戻る。荷物はあちこちに散らばっていた。さっきの男の人達かそれとも鳥か? 何故なら、キムチの入れ物が開けられていたからだ、はは。

 

For some reason, when the incident happened I didn't feel fearful. More focused. Even after the event. But the next day, the fear and anger at myself kicked in...but writing this now.is giving me the creeps again, so enough of that :)

それ以来何故か私は怖がらなくなった。より旅に気持ちが集中するようになった。その後も。しかし、次の日、恐怖と怒りがまた出てくる、しかし今はこれを書いているだけだ。けれどもそれがまた怖さをまた呼び戻す、もういやだ。笑顔

 

Day 35. I spend the day reading/talking to my friend, not walking. I needed it. And yes, stayed the night in accommodation.

第35日目。本を読み、友達と話し、今日は一日歩かない。私には必要だった。そう、ホテルで泊まり。

 

Day 36. Checking my gps, it's only 38km to Kyoto! Ready to walk again, I head off before sunrise. Highways, old houses, fairly new houses but generally a late 80s feel to everything. I'm in Shiga-ken already! At one point I hear a girl speaking and wonder what Asian language she is speaking. It's not Chinese or Korean, but wait, I catch a few Japanese words!

第36日目。GPSを見ると、あともう38キロで京都だ!また歩ける、朝日の前に出発する。大通り、古い家々、かなり新しい家々、しかしそれらも大概80年台の感じがする。もう滋賀県だ!途中、女性が話しているのが聞こえる。どんなアジアの言葉を話しているのだろうと考える。中国語や韓国語ではない。しかし待てよ、日本語の単語が聞こえる!

 

What???

何だぁ???

 

I tune into what everyone else is saying and laugh to myself. Hello, Kansai accent (how are they even speaking Japanese, it sounds too different!!!)

一緒にいる人が言っている言葉にも耳を澄ませて、私は自分にたいして笑ってしまう。関西弁こんにちは(彼らは一体どうやって?本当に同じ日本語なの? 全然違って聞こえるよ!!!)

 

At one point I sit by a shopping mall eating lunch and an old lady starts to speak to me. I stare at her and understand nothing haha! Goodbye (for now), chatting-up-old-women!

途中、商店街で座ってお昼を食べていると、お婆さんが話しかけてきた。私も彼女を見つめるのだが何を言っているか分からない、はは!(今は)さようなら、おしゃべり好きのおばあさん達!

 

The walk is long, very long. It's the 1st time I've done 38km in a day and it's raining, but Kyoto is in reach. I have to make it. Just seeing it so close on my gps gives me goosebumps.

今日はかなりの距離だ、とても長い。38キロを一日で歩くのは初めてだ。しかも雨が降っている。しかし京都はもう目の前だ。今日辿り着かなければ。GPSで、京都がそんなに間近なのを見るだけで鳥肌が立つ。

 

It's been just over a month, but it's felt like half a year. The nature I have experienced,  the people I have met, the things I have learnt...as I walk by thinking of all of it, all I feel is immense gratitude. There were ups and downs, there was bordem and ecstacy,  but for all of it, I feel so blessed. Thank you a hundred times, Japan :)

東海道を歩きだして、ちょうど1ヶ月ちょっと経った。しかしまるで半年のように感じる。色々と味わった自然、会った人々、学んだ事、歩きながら全てを考える。今は深い感謝しか感じられない。楽しかった事も大変な事もあった。退屈な時も有頂天の時もあった。しかし、全ては、私はとても恵まれていると感じる。100回ありがとう、日本よ、笑。

 

The excitement/gratitude fades as I continue walking and walking (and walking) Amidst swelling and wet feet, blisters return to keep things lively ;) Past lake Biwa, Kyoto is so close but every step feels longer.

ひたすら歩くにつれて(さらに歩いて)、気持ちの高まりや感謝の気持ちもおさまる。膨れて蒸れた足の中で、足のマメが戻ってきて騒がしくする、笑。琵琶湖を越え、京都は近い、しかし一歩一歩が長く感じる。

 

Finally, as night falls, I spot a tall building. I check my gps. I'm in Kyoto!!! Still having a few km left before the Tokaido finishes, I rush past highways with music in my ears. As I walk by busy streets, shop fronts, tourists, Michael Jackson's smooth criminal comes on. I must look like a baffoon with my massive grin and little dances as I walk!

ようやく、夜になる。建物を見つける。GPSを見る。 京都だ!!!   東海道の終わりまではまだ2,3キロある。音楽を耳に、大通りを越え急ぐ。混んでいる通りを進むと、お店や観光客。 マイケル・ジャクソンのスムーズ・クリミナルが始まる。私が、大きな笑顔でニヤニヤとして、少し踊りながら歩いたので、多分周りからは、かなり変な人に見えたに違いない。

 

At 9 am, the tokaido ends on a bridge near Sanjo station. I expected to feel relief or joy, but I didn't. Instead, I felt a simple contentment.

夜9時に、三条駅の側の橋で東海道が終わる。安心と喜びを期待していたのだが、感じなかった。代わりに、単純な満足を感じた。

 

As I stand on the bridge, looking out to the river, a starbucks latte in hand to celebrate, there is a small smile on my lips. I wonder how many people have stood right here, and what thoughts, dreams, hopes they had as they looked on the rippling reflection of lights in the water. As I sip on my drink, I wonder what journey lays ahead of me...where will these forces that I feel so strongly in Japan, forces from people in the past and present and future, from the trees and rivers and soil and stars, from a glint in a person's eye to the way a spider's web shimmers in the setting sun, forces that have stirred something wordless, formless deep inside of me..where will they take me?

橋の上に立って、川を見つめる。手にはスターバックスのラテでお祝い。口元には小さな笑み。私は、ここにどれくらい沢山の人が立っただろうと考える、そして彼らがどんな考えや、夢、希望を持って、この川の波打つ表面に映しだされるものを見たのだろう。コーヒーを飲みながら、これからどのような旅が私を待ち構えているかを考える。日本で感じる強い何かの力、過去・現在・未来の人々から感じる強い力、木々や川、土、星々、人の目に光る輝きから夕暮れにキラキラ光る蜘蛛の巣まで、言葉にならない何かを刺激するような力、形も無く私の奥に眠る力。それらは何処へ私をつれていくのだろう?

 

I snap a quick photo for this post, and leave for my room in Osaka...

ブログの為に一枚の写真をとり、大阪の部屋へ向かう。

 

PS. Thank you everyone for joining my journey in spirit, for your support and cheer leading. Thank you Michael for birthing the idea of the Tokaido, for giving me a cause to pursue, and for always being there :) thank you Hide for all your translations which have let many others join the journey, and for your ongoing well-wishing :)

あとがき。私の旅へ一緒に(心で)同行してくれた皆さんありがとう。皆の協力と励ましもありがとう。マイケル、東海道五十三次というアイデアを教えてくれてありがとう、追求する目的をくれ、そしていつも支えてくれた、笑顔、ヒデ、ありがとう。翻訳をしてくれて他の沢山の人が私の旅へ一緒になることができ、常に励ましてくれた。笑顔。

 

To all of you, I bow.

皆さんへ、おじぎをします。

Day 30, 31 & 32 Of Iva C.A.R.E.S Fund Raiser Has walked for a month...

Tokaido trek

東海道五十三次

 

Happy month-on-the-tokaido everyone!

読んでくれてありがとう。東海道五十三次での1ヶ月間です、皆さん!

 

Day 30. Jenny, Bow, Michael, James and and I visit another children's home. This home is taken care of by a monk I believe, who has been doing so for the past 100 years (got to double check!)

第三十日目。ジェニーとバウ、マイケル、ジェームズと私で、もう一つの児童養護施設を訪れた。この施設は、100年の間1人のお坊さんによって管理されているところだと聞いている。(ちょっと、ちゃんと確認しないと分からない!)

 

The inside was renovated and is now a truly lovely, fully equipped home. There is wood everywhere, the design is simple and spacious. When we intrude (again) on children having dinner, they seem relaxed and at home. It's a great sight :)

中は改装されていてとても良い雰囲気で、普通の家のように全て揃っている。木の感じが出ていて、デザインがとてもシンプルで広々している。子供達が夕食を食べているところへ又お邪魔することとなった。皆落ち着いた雰囲気でアットホームな感じ。私のような他人から見ても安心する。笑顔

 

Later, thanks to the Balloon circus, everyone's juggling, spinning plates, and then performing (you should check out their skills!) We all had a great time thanks to everyone invovled :))) Good bye Jenny and Bow!

少し経ってから、バルーン・サーカスの二人組の技の紹介。皆がお手玉をして、お皿を回し、そして皆で発表した。(子供達の高い技術を見てみて!)関わった人達全員のおかげで、とても楽しかった、笑顔。ジェニーとバウ、さようなら!

 

 

Day 31. My dear Tokaido, we reunite again.

第31日目。私の東海道さん、またお会いしましたね。

 

Doing the calculations, my budget won't allow for any exploration/time-taking. Kyoto just some 90 km away, I gotta walk and just walk (another excuse to return to Nagoya!)

計算してみると、私の予算ではあちこち探検したり時間を消費する暇がなくっている。京都まではまだ90キロ位ある。歩かなければ。ひたすら歩かなきゃ。(名古屋に戻る為にまた言い訳だけれども!)

 

I walk until my gps points out that I have to take a ferry to Kuwana, so I take a train instead.

GPSを辿って、桑名で船に乗らないといけない場所まで歩く。私は、代わりに電車に乗る。

 

It's hot,  very hot. Yes, I am wearing the lightest clothes I own, and yes, it's not even summer. Yay me!

暑い。とても暑い。そう、一番薄着をしているのだけれども、そう、まだ夏でも無いけれども。私にはこれで良い。

 

Past the familiar concrete buildings, traditional wooden ones return until they are all I see. When I read accounts of passing such houses, they often report a sense of "going back in time". I can see what they mean, but I cannot relate to it. To me, these traditional houses simply continue to be. Yes, they are hundreds of years old etc, but like an old tree, it's from our short-lived perspectives that there is any sense of going back in time.

馴染みのあるコンクリートの建物を越え、伝統的な木造の家々が見えて来て、やがてそういう家だけになる。そういう家々を見ながら歩くと、よく“昔へ戻った”感じだと表現される。日本の人達が言う理由が分かる。イギリス人の私には分からないけれども。私にとっては、これらの伝統的な家々は、そう、何百年の建物、古い木のような感じ。私達の短い人生の感覚からは、何か過去の時代へ戻ったような感じになる。

 

Anyway :)

まあ、いいやとにかく。笑

 

I spot a shop with an interesting chicken logo haha, and stop for a moment to look at it. An old man standing outside it welcomes me in and turns out to be the owner. It's a little cake shop and after the usual chatter, he rushes away and returns with a glass of cool water and a cold, creamy dessert, saying, "Oishi! Oishi!"

面白い鳥のロゴがあるお店を見つける、はは、そして止まって眺めて見る。おじいさんが外に立っていて、中へ誘ってくれる。彼はご主人だった。ここは小さなケーキのお店で、いつも通りの挨拶とおしゃべりの後、彼は冷たいお水と、冷たいクリーミーなデザートを持ってきてくれた。“美味しい!美味しいよ!”と言いながら。

 

Oishi indeed! We talk, he brings me some cake, we talk some more, and before I leave me gives me a present of garlic crisps. Very nice of him! :D

本当に美味しい!話を続ける。彼はケーキもくれて、更に沢山話す。さよならをする前にポテトチップスの袋もくれた。とても親切な人だ!笑顔

 

Traditional houses, sun, gardens and little historic spots, more sun. I stop on a bench by a closed restaurant for some shade/to munch the crisps and an old man approaches. Yes, we talk too :)

伝統的な家々、太陽、庭、ちょっとした歴史的な場所、また太陽。閉まっているレストランの側の日陰のベンチに腰をかけチップスを食べる。おじいさんが来る。そう、また話をする。笑

 

He is the owner and inside his Italian restaurant he shows me a picture of mount Fuji. It is stunning. "I drew this with pencil colours," he says. Amazing!!! Around his entire restaurant are more of his drawings - old Italian villages, a bridge in paris, flowers upon flowers.

彼は、ここの御主人でこのイタリアンレストランの中にある富士山の絵を見せてくれた。すごく綺麗な絵だ。“私はこれを色鉛筆で描いたんだよ。”彼は言う。すごい!!! レストランの中には彼が描いた絵がもっと沢山あった。古いイタリアの村、パリの橋、次から次と花の絵。

 

He showed me a wooden model of this large ship-like thing they use in the traditional festivals and he says it took him 2 years to make. The detail was stunning!!!

彼は、伝統的なお祭りで使うような大きな船のような木造の模型を見せてくれた。これを作るのに2年かかったという。細部が精密ですごい!!!

 

His wife joins us and we talk about their travels to Europe etc and he gives me a small drawing as a present!

奥さんが合流する。彼らのヨーロッパへの旅行の話になり、彼は小さな絵をプレゼントにくれた!

 

"Aenai", he tries to tell me before I leave. Not understanding,  he tries to explain it by saying that I am walking the Tokaido and he came here and I think, "ah, maybe he means it was  a lucky encounter!"

“あえない” 彼は私が去る前に何か伝えようとする。何を言おうとしているのか分からない。彼は私が東海道をここまで歩いて来たことを言いながら何か説明しようとする。私は“ああ、多分彼はこれが幸運の出会い”だと説明しようとしているのだろう。

 

"Aenai," he repeats. I nod, smile. "Hai, aenai!"

“あえない”彼は繰り返す。私は笑顔でうなずき “はい、あえない!”

 

Later on, I research the word. It means "tragic"...

後になって、私は言葉を調べる。“不幸”という意味だった。。。

 

It's time to learn Japanese...

日本語を勉強しなくては。。

 

The heat settles down as the sun sets and walk in the night. When I reach Yokkaichi, I find a park and camp between trees, but that night, I didn't freeze. That night, I had a sleeping mat. And I woke up to a gently rising sun and the singing of birds :)

日が沈んで暑さも落ち着き、夜に歩く。四日市に着いて、公園を見つけ木の間でキャンプをする、夜でも、凍えなかった。その夜はキャンピングマットがあった。ゆったりとした日の出と鳥のさえずりに目覚めた。笑顔

 

Day 32. I get going at 5:30 am, but as the hours pass, it becomes roasting!

第32二日目。5時半に出発。しかし時間が経つにつれて、焼けるような暑さになった!

 

With 4 hours of rough sleep and an appetite of what I can only presume a wild boar would I have, the walk turns into a trudge. I trudge past a highway until a supermarket comes into sight. Never been happier to see one!

4時間の睡眠とイノシシのような、としか言えないくらいお腹が空いて、足取りが重くなる。大通りを何とか越えスーパーマーケットが見える所まで来る。スーパーマーケットを見つけてこんなに嬉しかった事はない!

 

Food, water, charging my phone, a nap in a forest by a graveyard (that's another story!). I deeply wanted to just stay in the shade for the rest of the day, but the rhythm of the Tokaido is to keep moving. And so I kept on moving.

ご飯、水、携帯の充電、お墓の側の森で昼寝(これについては、またのお話!)もう残りの一日をずっとこの日陰で過ごしたくて仕方がなかった。しかし、東海道のリズムがあるし、とにかく進むこと。私はまた歩き続けた。

 

The houses on the route are really beautiful and seem older than the ones I've come across. At one point I pass a blue bridge and see a little gate that seems interesting. Time to explore. Small stone steps take me past trees and towards a large wooden temple surrounded by a garden.

道沿いの家々はとても美しく、以前に見たことのあるものよりも古いように見える。途中で青い橋を渡ると面白そうな門が見える。ちょっと探検だ。小さな石の飛石を進んで木々を越えると庭に囲まれた大きな木のお寺に辿りつく。

 

The more I walk around, the more beautiful it is. There a small stone shrines  here and there, large blossoming flowers, a little hidden pond under trees, greeny of different shades and hues. A lady appears and she after the expected chat, she shows me around and tells me that she has lived here with her husband (the shrine's monk) for 40 years.

歩けば歩くほど、美しい。あちこちに小さな石のお宮がある。大きな花が咲いて、木々の下に隠れた小さな池がある。色々な色彩の緑だ。女性が現れる。お馴染みの挨拶とおしゃべりの後、案内をしてくれて、彼女はここに旦那さんと(ここのお坊さん)40年住んでいると言う。

 

I meet her husband who gives me oranges and then their son (also a monk) show me the main shrine. It's around 380 years old and it's roof is actually depicted in one of Hiroshige's ukiyoe of the 53 stations of Tokaido!

旦那さんに会い、彼はみかんをくれた。そして息子さん(同じくお坊さん)が本堂を案内してくれる。大体380年くらい古くて屋根には、広重の東海道五十三次の浮世絵がある!

 

We have a lovely talk, visit an ancient sakura tree from another of Hiroshige's ukiyoe, and then get going.

とても楽しいお話をして、別の広重の浮世絵にでてくるのと同じ古い桜を見て、そして先へ進む。

 

For the first time, school children start to say hello to me and a little boy even stops to ask me where I am from! As I past Shono post station around 6 pm, a car stops right by me and guess who comes out?

初めて、学校の子供達がハローと私に言う。小さな男の子が止まって私が何処からきたかと聞いた! 夕方6時頃に庄野宿を越えると、車が横で止まる。誰が出てきたと思う?

 

The monk's wife! 

お坊さんの奥さんだ!

 

She tells me her husband said it was dangerous for me to be camping alone (haha) and that I should stay the night with them! How nice!!!

彼女は、旦那さんが、私が1人でキャンプをするのは危険だから(はは、)一晩とめてくれると言うのだ!なんて優しい人達だ!!

 

They show me a book on the 53 stations of Tokaido as dinner is being prepared (cue for wild-boar-appetite). It's so interesting to compare the routes during the Edo period to what it is now, having walked through them.

夕ご飯の支度中に彼らは東海道五十三次の本を見せてくれた(イノシシの食欲の出番。)東海道の道を歩いてきたので、江戸時代と今とで比べるのはとても興味深い。

 

We dine together and somehow manage to talk about buddism with the help of the dictionary on my phone haha. I had a great time and hope to share this experience better than the short words I have written here :)

夕食を一緒にして、私の携帯の辞書の手助けで(笑)何とか仏教の話を楽しむ事ができた。とても楽しい時間を過ごす事が出来て、いまここに書いている短い言葉だけでなく、いつかこれをきちんと書けたら良いなと思う。笑顔

 

But for now, the Tokaido calls...

しかし、今は、東海道五十三次が私を呼んでいる。。

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Day 27,28 & 29 of Iva C.A.R.E.S Fun raising walked all the way to Nagoya...

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Tokaido trek: day 27, 28, 29

東海道五十三次徒歩:第27、28、29日目

 

(Sorry for the later post today! Ask Michael and Tully's coffee about it ;) )

(遅くなってごめんね! マイケルとタリーズ・コーヒーに理由を聞いて。笑)

 

Here's a theory: the more you struggle to find words for something, the more meaningful it is.

これは私の仮説である:ものを書く時に、何かについて表現する言葉を見つけるのに苦労すれば苦労するほど、意味深くなる。

 

Language is fairly recent in our human history, feelings are not.

言語は人間の歴史の中ではかなり最近の事だが、感情は違う。

 

As I write these blog posts, there is a great omission of the journey that goes on. What is left? Places, snippets of stories, some photos. It is my hope that even through these, you may glimpse a true shadow. Perhaps one day, when the fire fades and the iron cools, there will be marks left in the ashes.

私が、このブログの記事を書くのに、色々旅で起きている事が沢山省かれる。何が残るか?場所、出来事の断片、写真。私としては、これらからだけでも、読んでくれる人が真実の影を垣間見る事ができればと願う。多分いつか、火が静まって鉄が冷めた時、灰の中に痕が残るだろう。

 

Anyway :) Day 28! I don't even remember what happened on that day! (Maybe I should go back to writing a blog every 2 days haha)

とにかく、笑。第28日目! その日に何が起きたか覚えてもいない!(これでは、私はまた二日おきにブログを書くようにしなければならないかもしれない。はは。)

 

I remember day 29. Music in my ears, I took a train to Chiryu station, where I had left off the day before yesterday, at midday. Now in Aichi prefecture, leaving the mountains of Shizuoka, cement buildings, highways and the few traditional houses are framed by skies alone. Clear skies! The weather has been so lovely.

第29日目の事は覚えている。音楽を聴きながら、一昨日昼に途中にした池鯉鮒(ちりゅう)駅への電車に乗った。やっと愛知県だ。山々や、コンクリートの建物、大通り、少しの伝統的な家々が空だけに囲まれていた静岡を去る。晴天だ!天気は最近ずっと良く爽やかだ。

 

I walk, observe, walk. Sometimes twittering birds stop me in my tracks, or a beautiful garden. Later on, an ancient tree. Its bark is cracked and peeling. Its branches stretched in all directions. I sit beside it in silence for an hour, then stand up to leave...

私は、歩く、観察する、歩く。時に鳥のさえずりや美しい庭が私の足を止まらせる。そして後々になって古代の木。皮は割れ目が入っていて、剥けている。枝はあちらこちらの方向へ向かって伸びている。私は側に座り一時間静かにする。そしてまたそこも去る。

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Before I realize it, the skies darken and I grab lunch/dinner at a konbini and continue.

知らぬ間に、空が暗くなりコンビニで昼兼夕食を買い、歩き続ける。

 

Begin, a walk in the night.

始まる、夜の徒歩だ。

 

It doesn't matter that the route is next to highways for the most part. It's not what's seen that's interesting, it's what's hinted at: a dark plane that unveils itself as a river when a train passes, the shadow of trees, patterns on pavements and iron bridges, the glaring, blaring lights of cars, a single neon sign lighting an empty road, a pair of shoes left outside a sleeping house, a wide, field of grass.

大丈夫だ、殆どの道のりは大通り沿いに行く。歩いていて、見えてくるものそのものではなく、その後ろにあるものが面白い:黒い平らなものが、電車が通った時に川として現れる。木々の影、舗装道路の縞々や鉄の橋、ギラリと光って眩しくうるさい車のライト、何もない通りに一つだけ光っている看板、眠っている家の前においてある一足の靴、広い草の大地。

 

At the beginning of my walk, a month ago, I was blind to these details. I took in everything on its surface. But as I've walked the Tokaido, instead of getting bored when passing similar-looking  buildings and roads, I've found a whole new world revealing itself. As I've walked the Tokaido, layers of my environment have been peeled away.

1ヶ月前に歩き始めた時に、私はこのような些細な事には盲目だった。全てを表面で捉えていた。しかし、東海道を歩いて、同じ様な見かけの建物や道路を進んで飽きる代わりに、新しい世界が自分から飛び出してきたのを見つけた。 

 

Here's a little photo-tour of my night walk on the way to Fujikawa (note: you won't be able to see much!)  以下が、藤沢までの夜の徒歩の写真ツアーです。(メモ:沢山は見えないよ!)

  1. A road 道路

 

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2. Flowers by a road 道端の花々

 

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3. The inside of a church (it was locked, so photo taken through the window pane)

教会の中(鍵がかかっていたので、窓越しに撮った写真)

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4. A faceless man  顔のない人

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5.  A castle, a river, a man  お城、川、人

 

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6. A lone light 一つだけの明かり

 

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7. A lake 湖

 

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Day 29! Nagoya! Today I meet Michael (founder of YouMeWe) and the balloon circus and visit a children's home

第29日目!名古屋!今日はマイケル(YouMeWeの創設者)とバルーン・サーカスに会って、1つの養護施設を訪ねる。

 

I leave my couchsurfing host, who has been very kind, and head with my beloved backpack to meet everyone.

とても親切にしてくれたホストの家を去り、慣れ親しんだ私のリュックを背負って皆に会いに行く。

 

There's a smile on my face just writing about this! We had so much fun!

これを書くだけで私の顔に笑顔が浮かぶ!とても楽しかった!

 

We began by joining three children for a dinner of fried noodles (No, they didn't expect 5 foreigners to come bursting in. Yes, they were caught with chop-sticks half-raised in surprise).

私達は、三人の子供が焼きそばを食べている所へ突然現れた。(そう。彼らは、5人の外国人が押しかけてくるなんて思ってもみなかった。そう、彼らは驚いてお箸を宙に持ち上げたままだった。)

 

The event begins with an introduction to all the children and a presentation on Expedition Nihon. Then the fun begins: Jenny and Bow show us how to spin plates, use flower sticks, juggle, and other circus tricks. When it's time us to give it a go, all the children (and adults) go wild! We had so much fun!!!

最初に子供達への自己紹介から始まり、日本一周のプレゼンテーションをした。そこから楽しい事が始まる:ジェニーとバウがお皿を回す技を教えてくれて、フラワー・スティックや、お手玉、他のサーカスの棒の使い方も教えてくれた。そして、いよいよ皆で実際にやってみるという時は、子供達皆ではしゃいだ(大人も皆)!とても楽しかった!!!

 

There were a few girls who loved twirling these ribbons around, so I joined their group for the most part ;)

2,3人の女の子達がリボンをクルクル回していて、私は彼女らのグループに加わって、殆どを過ごした。笑顔

 

The event ended with a performance (love how you can see who is naturally inclined to what!) and then they all made origami cranes and wrote down their own curiosities for my project!

イベントは最後は皆の発表で終わる(誰がどんな事に自然と取り組むのかが見ることが出来て面白い!)そして、皆で折り鶴を作って、私のプロジェクトの為に好奇心が湧くことを書いてくれた!

 

Thank you to all the staff of the home for having us, and thank you James and Michael for setting up such a wonderful event, and bows to Jenny and Bow for their circus show!

迎えてくれた職員の皆さんありがとう。ジェームスとマイケルもこのような素晴らしいイベントを企画してくれてありがとう。それからジェニーとバウの素敵なパフォーマンスに感謝!

 

Beaming, tired, our day ended with a stacked plate of famous Nagoya chicken wings (by far the best wings I've ever had, yum).

疲れたけれども、笑顔で、名古屋の有名な手羽先の大盛りで一日を終えた。(今まで食べた手羽先の中で一番美味しい。美味い。)

 

Day 24, 25 & 26 Of Iva C.A.R.E.S. Fund Raiser

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Tokaido trek: day 24, 25, 26

東海道五十三次徒歩:第24,25,26日目

 

Wow, it's nearly been a month!

おお、もうほぼ一ヶ月だ!

 

It feels like half a year has past

もう一年経ったようにも感じる

 

It also feels like only a week or two

たった一週間かそこらしか経っていないようにも感じる

 

How is that possible???

どうしてだろう???

 

(Time leans against a metal railing and draws in deeply from the cigar between its lips. "It just is," it answers, disappearing behind a wreath of smoke).

(時間は、金属製の手すりに寄りかかり、唇の間から巻きタバコを深く吸い込む。“ただそれだけ” と時間は答え、煙の輪の中に去る。)

 

So three day, how were these three days?

過去の3日間、どんなだったけ?

 

Before I go onto that, let me talk a detour for moment...

それを話す前に、ちょっと寄り道をさせて下さい。

 

Walking this past nearly-a-month has acquainted to something called CHOAS.

このほぼ一ヶ月間を歩き続けて、何か混沌と呼ばれるものに取り巻かれてきた。

 

(Upon hearing it's name, Chaos stumbles from its seat and half-runs-half-falls onto the stage. A wider grin takes over its already beaming face, "HIYA, GUYS!")

(自分の名前を呼ばれて、混沌は驚いて椅子から落ちそうになり、半分駆けずるように半分落ちるようにステージへ出た。既に気持ちで高ぶる顔に、にっこりと大きな笑みを浮かべる。“ハ~イ、皆さん!”)

 

Physically getting used to doing long-walks

体力的にも長距離の歩きに慣れてきた

 

Mentally getting used to doing long-walks

精神的にも長距離の歩きに慣れてきた

 

Daily change of environment

日々の環境の変化にも慣れてきた

 

Dealing with extreme highs and lows (when it's dark/I'm tired/don't know where I'm staying the night, I feel seriously lonely! haha)

とっても楽しいことや楽しく無い事もやりくりしてきた 。(暗くなると・疲れて眠い・夜どこに泊まれるか分からない、かなり孤独!笑)

 

While this is all part of the journey, and I am only grateful for it, there's something that keeps screaming out to me: a need to write.

全ては旅の一部であるが、有り難いことに、いつも私を追い立ててくれるものがある: 書かなければならないということだ。

 

I'm used to waking up in the morning, drinking green tea by a desk, and writing for 4 hours, but it's not only this habit that keeps tugging at me. It's the inspiration that this walk has built up (and heck has it been building up!) It's a wave that's been rising and rising and now, full of energy, it needs to come crashing down.

朝に起きて、机に向かって座ってお茶を飲み、4時間書く、という習慣に慣れている。しかし、この習慣が私を追い立てているのではない。歩き続けることからインスピレーションがどんどん溜まってくる。(沢山だよ!)まるで波のように上がったり下がったり、ものすごい力で、波打ち際に当たらなくてはならない。

 

And I think that's it: the creative energy needs to be dispelled.

私は分かった:創作のエネルギーの発散が必要なのだ。

 

And for that, I need routine.

その為にも、習慣が必要だ。

 

I've tried fitting writing into the chaos (Chaos jumps up and waves frantically, but before it can open its mouth to speak, gets hushed by the others) but alas, it hasn't been working.

私は、混沌の中へ書き込んでそれを埋めようとしてきた。(混沌はおどろいて飛び上がり、気が狂ったように手を振る。しかしそれが言葉を発する前に、別なもので黙らせられてしまう。)ああ、しかしこれも上手くいかない。

 

So here's an announcement, dear readers: once I reach Kyoto, the end of the Tokaido route, I intend on staying put in one new prefecture for probably a month. Sure, I'll be explore-walking but AFTER 4 hours of writing, 2 hours of Japanese (I really want to talk to people/read Japanese works!!!), and some part-time English teaching to refresh funds.

そこで、ここで発表です。読者の皆さん:私が京都へ着いてこの東海道五十三次を終わらせたら、私は一箇所で多分一ヶ月間滞在するつもりです。もちろん、近くを歩きまわるでしょうが、しかし必ず4時間の執筆の後、それから2時間の日本語の勉強の後(私は日本語で人と話したり、日本語の本を読みたい!!!)、そして少しアルバイトで英語を教えて資金の調達 。

 

So that's that. I'm very excited to start, and it's given a new vigour to my walk.

だから、それを始めるのがとても楽しみで、歩くのにも力がこもる。

 

...oh, back to the walk! (Walk stays holding its face between its hands and staring beyond-boredom, too beyond-boredom to even blink, mutters, "Yeah.")

おっと、また徒歩に戻らなきゃ!(徒歩は、顔に手を当てて暇をもて余して、あまりにも暇でまばたきもせずにしている。徒歩はつぶやく、“はい” )

 

Countdown! Countdown to Nagoya! Two days and over 80 km left!!!

もうすぐだ!もうすぐ名古屋だ!あと2日で80キロ以上も残ってる!!!

 

Day 24 was a I-don't-care-if-the-world-backflips-on-its-backside-I'm-not-walking day.

第24日目は、“世界が崩れてひっくり返ったとしても、どうでもいいや、今日は私は歩かない”という日になった。

 

Day 25 was a omg-I-have-to-catch-up-on-the-walk day. It was blazing hot during the day time, so I only started at 6:30 pm and power-walked till near midnight (only in Japan and I beat my km record!)

第25日目は、“しまったー。とにかく歩いて遅れを取り戻さなきゃ” という日。日中は、めちゃくちゃ暑かった。だから夕方6時半になってようやく歩き出して、ひたすら全開歩きで夜中まで歩いた(日本だからできる。私の自身最高距離記録だ!)

 

I began at Nagoya (my couchsurfing host is there, so I'm tracing the Tokaido backwards to Iwata haha!) and moving away from bright street lights I found myself on darker, smaller roads. There was barely anyone else around and while it was admittedly a wee creepy at times, it was mostly very interesting.

名古屋で始まった(実は、寝泊まりさせてくれるホストが名古屋にあるので、磐田まで逆向きに東海道をたどってきた。ははは!)明るい通りの光から去り、暗い細い道へと進む。ここには他にほとんど誰もいない、正直言うと時にちょっと怖い感じもした。しかし全体としては中々面白い。

 

A place transforms at night time.

夜になると別な場所になる。

 

Take away people and sunlight, and you're left with the odd street light, shades of darkness, the silence of night. Even when the wind rustles, the trees seem more quiet than usual.

人と太陽が無くなる。そして独り奇妙な通りの光に取り残され、暗い影があり、夜の静けさが残る。風が音を立てたとしても、木々も普段より静かにしているような感じだ。

 

Everything feels different too. The giant bridges and highways feel bigger, wider. The rivers and trees feel deeper. And the houses oddly feel like something from nature rather than something man-made.

全てが違って感じられる。巨大な橋や大通りは更に大きく広く感じる。川や木々はもっと深く感じる。そして、家々は、奇妙な事に、なぜか人工というよりも何か自然から出来ているもののように感じる。

 

I passed a large shrine with tall stones, flags, a bridge, and a narrow river, and for a moment there was something a bit eerie about it. I could see the outlines of the forms, but most of them were shrouded in complete darkness.

高い石や、旗、橋、細い川がある神社を通り過ぎる。一瞬の間、何かそこに怖いものがあった。建物や石の形は見えるけれども、でもほとんどは暗闇に包まれている。

 

There's a mystery, an intrigue to the dark, and I think that's what made everything so interesting.

暗闇には何か不思議で惹かれるものがある。私は、それが全てを興味深くしていると思う。

 

There was a section where only large traditional houses filled the streets and these giant buildings with large wooden doors that seemed like old storage places. There were a row of trees that were covered in fairy lights which reminded me of Christmas (my favourite time of year!) Sometimes I'd hear some laughter and talking and then pass a lone Japanese pub with a small group of people.

途中、大きな古いお屋敷が並び大きな木の戸ばかりで、古い倉庫のような感じの場所があった。薄暗い光で木々に覆われていて、私にクリスマスを思い出させた(一年で私の大好きな時だ!)時に、笑い声が聞こえ少人数の人がいる一軒だけの飲み屋を過ぎる。

 

When the Tokaido passed through brightly-lit streets, they seem like something out of a movie rather than normal life in Japan. Past a highway and a vast, rippling river, I hear the creaking of a train. I want to walk more but I can't miss the last train back. Next time :)

東海道で明るく照らされた通りを過ぎるとき、日本の通常の生活というよりは、むしろ映画の1シーンのような感じがする。大通りと大きな波立つ川を過ぎて、電車の音が聞こえる、もっと歩きたいけれどもしかし、戻る電車を逃すこともできない。また次回にしよう。笑顔

 

Day 26. A that's-it-I'm-planning-some-routine day.

第26日目。“もうこれまでだ、しっかりと毎日のパターンを計画する” 日。

 

Did some research, planning. Caught up on sleep, stayed in bed and read and then had a delicious Austrian dinner with a polish couple and our Couchsurfing host, and are later joined by two enthusiastic Italian ladies. We exchange travel stories (especially the crazy ones) and have a good time. Before I go to sleep, it dawns on my how much I'm going to have to walk tomorrow and the day after to make Nagoya...

少し調べて、計画もした。きちんと眠り、ベッドにとどまり読書をして、そしてホストのポーランドのカップルと美味しいオーストリア料理の夕食を食べた。後から元気のあるイタリア人の女の人達が合流する。旅の話をし(特に極端におかしい話)、楽しい時間を過ごす。寝る前に、明日と明後日で名古屋に辿り着かなければならない事を思い出し、どれだけ歩かなければならないのかが頭にのしかかる。。

 

(Walk stands up, its beyond-boredom stare gone. A little smile creeps in the corner of its lips and before it leaves the stage, it says to the lingering audience, "See you.")

(徒歩は立ち上がる。もう退屈でしょうがないという目つきは無くなっている。徒歩の唇の端には薄気味悪い小さな笑顔が漂っている。そしてステージを降りる前に、残っている観客達に言う。“また後でね”)

 

 

THE END.

おしまい。

 

 

(PS. Sorry about lack of photos! It was too dark for any proper ones)

(あとがき。写真が無くてごめんなさい!暗すぎてちゃんとしたのが撮れませんでした。)

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Day 21, 22 & 23 of Iva C.A.R.E.S. Fund Raiser

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Tokaido trek: day 21, 22, 23

東海道五十三次 徒歩:第21,22,23日目

 

When people ask about my walk, they make me aware of one particular thing: the disappearance of time.

徒歩の事について尋ねられると、1つの事に気付かされる。時間が無くなるということだ。

 

It melts away. One day feels like many days, a week feels like a month.

まるでとけてしまう。一日が何日にも感じたり、一週間が一ヶ月のよう。

 

"Did that really just happen yesterday?" My mind asks.

“それって、本当に昨日だった?”私の頭は訊く。

 

Yes, yes it did.

そうだよ。あれは昨日だよ。

 

And as time disappears, a sum of experience is all that's left...

そして、時間が消える。経験すべてが積み重なってあるだけ。

 

...In a supermarket near Shimada, on old lady peaks at me eating raw broccoli. She comments, shocked, and I invite her to try some. She picks a piece, "Oishi! hajimete!" she buys me coffee, we talk about her life of living alone for 30 years and her hobby of piano (when I say I'd love to hear her she shakes her head smiling,  "hazukashi'!") For over half an hour, we forget that my Japanese is rubbish and the silence that naturally comes between conversation. For over half an hour, we connect.

島田の側のスーパーマーケットで、私が生のブロッコリーを食べているのをあるお婆さんが覗く。彼女はびっくりだと言い、私は試してみてと言う。彼女は1つ取り上げて、“おいしい。はじめて!” 彼女がコーヒーを買ってくれる。彼女が30年間独りで暮らしている事やピアノの趣味について話した。(私が、是非聴きたいと言うと、彼女は首を振って、“恥ずかしい!”と言った。)一時間半以上話し、私の日本語が拙い事を忘れ沈黙の瞬間が自然に少しずつ出てくる。一時間以上、二人で何繋がった時間を過ごした。

 

Eventually,  she bows to leave but I open my arms to hug her. She hesitates for a moment,  then hugs me. We both depart smiling to ourselves...

彼女はお辞儀をして去る時、私は腕を広げて彼女を抱きしめようとする。彼女は最初戸惑ったが、抱きしめ返す。お互い笑顔でさよならをする。

 

...the sun sets and the sky shifts into darker shades until a deep blue sky hangs above the cobbled road entrance to the old Tokaido road in Kanaya.

太陽が沈み、空は段々暗くなり金谷の東海道の旧道へ入る石畳の道を深い青い空が覆う。

 

To enter or not to enter?

入るべきか、入らざるべきか?

 

I've only walked for ten miles today, I have to make Nagoya on 16th April, but soon it will be pitch black and that experience in Hakone has let me know that such a set up is unideal haha.

今日は10キロしか歩いていない。4月16日には名古屋に着かなければならない、しかしすぐに真っ暗になるし、箱根での経験からそのような状況は理想的でない、笑。

 

But who cares? I was silly then.

しかし、そんなの誰がきにするか? 私はあの時頭がちょっとおかしかっただけだ。

 

"Don't repeat your mistakes!" My brain pings.

“同じ過ちを繰り返すな!” 私の頭は知らせる。

 

I sit on the side of a stone platform and think it through. The sky turns navy. I decide to wake up early tomorrow and walk then. Sitting, enjoying the moment, stars come out. "You are all specks in time that will soon disappear. In the vastness of space, you are nothing."

石の台に座りよく考える。空は紺色になる。明日早く起きて、歩くことにする。座って、その瞬間を楽しむ。星が出始める。“あなた方は皆、すべて時間の中にある点々、また直ぐ消えるのだ。広い宇宙の中で、何ものでもない。”
 

And yet, here we are.

まただ。

 

In dilence, I watch the stars. The sky turns black. I sit take train to my room in Kakegawa. Good night, everyone...

静かな中で、星をみる。空は黒に変わる。掛川の部屋まで電車で座る。みんな、おやすみ。

 

...6:20 am. Old Tokaido road. Tall trees, cobbled roads, steep mountains and rows and rows of tea bushes, birds twittering everywhere. I spot a large bird that looks like a chicken but is too elegant for one. It flies away as I approach and crouches, hiding in grass.  Should I let it know how much its bright red face stands out more in the grass? I turn away, pretending not to see it, laughing to myself...

6:20am, 東海道旧道。高い木々、石畳の道、急勾配の山々、そして幾重、幾重ものお茶畑、鳥があちこちでさえずいている。私は、にわとりに似た大きな鳥を見つけた。しかし鶏にしては綺麗過ぎる。近づいてしゃがむと飛んで逃げて、草に隠れる。草に隠れると、より赤い顔が目立つことを教えるべきだろうか? 私は、そっぽを向いて、その鳥が隠れて見えなくなった振りをして、笑った。

 

..10 hours of walking, feet complaining and stomach rumbling, I arrive at Iwata. blue flags with a football logo line the streets. They look so lovely in this humble town, but imagine the pressure the players must feel whenever there's a match!

10時間の歩き。足が文句を言い、お腹もぐうぐう言っている。磐田に着く。サッカーのロゴが入った青い旗が道に並ぶ。このおしとやかな町には可愛らしくある。しかし、試合がある時の選手達のプレッシャーはすごいものがあるだろう!

 

A lot of the time, during this walk, there is often nothing more to say then, "Yeah, so I just walked through plain, identical looking houses and roads."

徒歩の途上では沢山の時間を費やすが、多くは何も言うことがない。“そうだよ、私はただ平たい、同じような見かけの家や道を歩いただけだよ。”

 

Boring? Sure. But when time disappears, it just becomes part of the rhythm of an experience. The silence in between the music.

飽きないかって?まあ。しかし時間が消えて、毎日のリズムになっている。音楽と音楽の間の静寂と同じ。

 

I finish a 30 km walk (about time!) and arrive at a train station to go to my couchsurfing host. A massive Iwata football logo covers a station wall (hah!) Gambette!!! ...
30キロを歩き終える。(時間だ!)駅に着き、寝場所だけのホストの家に行く。巨大な磐田のサッカーチームのロゴが駅の壁を覆う(はは!)頑張って!!!