Has anything changed?

We have been living as if we do not own a car for a week and a half now. The car is still parked out front, in the parking spot that we pay $30/month for. We did use it once last weekend, but not out of weakness. We used it because we had made a prior committment to pick people up from the train station and transport them to our local castle for hanami.

Japanese people eagerly anticipate spring and the coming of the cherry blossoms, or sakura. It is a very romantic season around here. The sakura really are spectacular, and fleeting. They serve as a reminder that life goes by very quickly.

I have enjoyed my commute to work. There is something immensely gratifying about riding past dozens of cars stuck behind one another, and not having any of them pass me further down the road. My commute takes a little under 15 minutes. It would take about 30 minutes in the car.

Here are some pictures of one of the hazards of riding on Japanese roads.

These monstrous cranes are road legal. This one was hauling stuff to the top of the Ogaki Forum Hotel which is about 10 storeys tall. When one of these bad boys drives past, I get nervous.

Our planning has to be a little more detailed now that we aren't using the car. Shopping trips are more regular and smaller than before. I am finding that I am buying more fresh food and less junk than before. There just isn't room for more stuff when all we have is a couple of panniers and a small back pack.

The weather has been great. Temperatures have been topping out at about 20 C all week, but the rain is coming. The first typhoon of the season has already made its way past us on its way to Alaska. The humidity is starting to climb, soon it will be closer to 30 C, pouring rain and humid as all get out...should be fun!

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