Saturday, January 22, 2005


It is funny that when we think about going sightseeing, we tend to choose somewhere far away --- somewhere we can’t go too easily and too often. Yeah, we can visit nearby sightseeing spots anytime. It doesn’t have to be this time. ---- And many years may pass before the “anytime” comes. For me, Katsurahama beach and Kochi castle in this city were exactly the places of that kind. This time I happened to have an opportunity to show someone around in this city and to revisit those places.

I’ve been to this statue of Ryoma Sakamoto a few times before. He was one of the heroes in Meiji revolution which changed Japan from a closed feudal society to a modern nation with Western influences. This Ryoma was said to be a friendly and extremely open-minded guy. He became well-known after an award-winning novel about his life. His fans, which are many, just adore the guy who wore western shoes and dreamed about abolishing social classes when most other samurais were trying hard to protect the shogunate and feudal system in which they can remain in the top class. They come to this statue, see Ryoma looking beyond the horizon, and, in their minds, hear him saying, “Dream on.” He is the symbol of the future, so to speak.

I accidentally found this site and liked the title, "The Indispensable 'Nobody'" very much (though I don’t see him as the Japanese equivalent of George Washington, like the editor writes).

Kochi castle, on the other hand, is a treasure from the past, which has been preserved amazingly well. According to the tour guide, Kochi castle has some traditional buildings that were completely lost in almost all other castles in Japan. It was interesting to learn about all the different devices for protecting the castle from the enemies.

I vaguely remember seeing inside the castle once when I was very little, coming all the way (3 to 4 hours by bus) from my hometown. Now I live just 5minutes (by bicycle) away from the castle, and never felt like touring inside at all.

So I appreciated this opportunity very much and enjoyed re-discovering the things we have around here. It was, honestly, a nice experience that added a different color to the familiar everyday scene.
I just wished it wasn’t freezing cold like that, though.
posted by obachan, 1/22/2005 05:09:00 PM



Posted by obachan
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1/25/2005 2:24 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1/25/2005 2:50 PM  
I know what you mean about not visiting nearby attractions. I lived right next to New York City for a year and never got to the Statue of Liberty. I live in Arizona now and hardly ever get to the Grand Canyon. It's nice that you've made time to see your nearby sights. 

Posted by Amanda
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 2/17/2005 7:56 PM  
Hi Amanda,
Welcome! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment :D
I stayed in AZ for apx. 2 months about 12 years ago and drove around to visit as many sightseeing spot s as possible. I liked Sedona the best.  

Posted by obachan
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 2/17/2005 11:18 PM  

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