At one point, I was all set to ride my scooter, one that a friend had kindly donated to me, all the way from Tokyo to the Kanagawa village, and document the journey. My wife put a stop to it.
While most of my actions in my life might appear to fly in the face of logic and common sense, this was one time that the overwhelming evidence against the wisdom of riding a clapped out moped the eighty odd kilometres it took to get to Yadorigi, made me take a more conservative option. We instead made a day trip out of it all, renting the cheapest pickup truck we could, and loading it full of pots, pans, bedding and other miscellany necessary for basic survival (with the added bonus of clearing out tokyo apartment of quite a few surplus items), as well as the aforementioned scooter.
Part of my intention of riding the scooter down to the village was to show the contrast between Japanese cityscape and countryside via a camera mounted to my helmet, but I managed to do the next best thing by mounting it the dashboard of the truck. It makes for a nicer video with a fixed shot, rather than my constantly swivelling head at least.
This timelapse was a bit of an experiment and wasn’t particularly successful (That black snake that appears to be wriggling around in front of the camera for instance is the windscreen wiper). I will give it another go, hopefully with better results, next time I drive down. You maybe able to just make out the crazy subterranean and elevated motorway system, that actually weaves through the heart of Tokyo, at the start of the video.
Having no means of transport in a remote village like Yadorigi is a major obstacle – there are very few things within a reasonable walking distance of the house, and certainly no 24 hour convenience stores. Transport wise, a scooter is consequently the minimum requirement for being able to do the most basic things like grocery shopping, and I was overjoyed to finally get it down here. Having lived in cities all my life, such things like the reliance on personal vehicles and the lack of shops are a reminder of the significant change of pace that comes with living in the countryside. However there is the vague optimistic sense that, while city life can often be a densely packed march towards a presupposed ideals, much of how you choose to live your life in rural Japan is open to personal interpretation. With any luck, I’ll be able to illustrate that idea in some films!