Snowflakes melting into raindrops were falling outside the guesthouse this morning, perfect weather for usui. I liked the idea of usui; I wanted to go back to bed and contemplate it. Instead, I had a 10 minute sprint-march up quiet, narrow residential back streets before hitting the silent crowds filing into Nishiogi station. Once swiping a card to get through the electric kaisatsu (ticket gates), it`s a frogger-like weave through shuffling black coats to get to the platform.
The train ride is the best part of the winter commute, free to think or read whatever in the warmth.
During the morning commute, nobody speaks. It seems an unwritten rule, as if it`s still bedtime. I rarely say a word before entering the office at 10am and coughing out an ohayo gozaimasu.
Today I got off the Sobu train at Ochanomizu station to photograph a plum blossom at the bank of the Kanda river. The plum blossom is blooming below the Ochanomizu bridge; Ochanomizu translates as teawater. Only a brave builder would drink the water now.
My train reading today discussed a government survey last year in which 87% of respondents said they wanted Japan to abandon nuclear power. Of course, the Japanese people don`t decide if the power plants will be switched back on; the government decides this. Nuclear power is the most undemocratic, centralised form of power production, controlled by governments, by nations, not by small businesses or majority vote. Switch them off, switch them all off, and come and sit next to me on the couch.