I’ve been to Hokkaido a few times before, but didn’t really appreciate it until this weekend. Having lived in Honshu for a year, I have developed an image of Japan and the Japanese that I’ve had wiped clean by this place and its geography. I went east to Nakashibetsu for an ALT party but was astonished by the landscape.
It reminds me so much of so many other places that are nothing like Japan: Alaska, the American Midwest, Australian Pasturelands, the German Countryside. Cows, Corn, Hay, Potatoes, Onions, Cabbages, Horses, Unused Forest, Wild Animals. There is room here. Niigata feels like a closet in comparison.
Really, does that image remind you of Japan?