By: Lauren DeCosta
Let me paint you a picture.
The vibrant yellow of the canola blossoms blowing in the wind. Their subtly sweet fragrance dancing through the air. Mt. Iwaki as a backdrop, with just the slightest brushing of snow still gracing its peak. The promise of delicious soft cream, fresh from a Jersey Farm.
Sounds picturesque, doesn’t it?
Now, let me paint you a somewhat different picture.
The vibrant yellow of the canola blossoms, somewhere off in the distance. The road that will take you to these blossoms unknown. The scent of manure from somebody’s farm filtering through the air vent of your car. Mt. Iwaki, somewhere in the scope of your rearview mirror as you inch along the road at an infuriatingly slow speed. Some unusual flavored ice cream in a cup, falling a tad short of your expectations of deliciousness.
Sounds a little bit less ideal, huh?
Although the main attraction during the canola blossom season is in Yokohama town, Ajigasawa has their own canola fields around the base of Mt. Iwaki. Only, they move every year to prevent the over farming of the soil, and the signs directing you to the current year’s location aren’t all that large, and are half-hidden behind trees. Ellen and I thought, hey, we live in this area, let’s go see our own fields of canola, and have some local pride! But after a few hours of driving, failed GPS navigation, failure to successfully comprehend the questionably helpful signs sporadically placed along the road, and even some family level disputes of “There’s a sign right there, if you just pull up a bit more I might be able to read it.” “I can’t get closer to it, the lights red and I’m trying to read the map on my phone!” We managed to NOT find the actual fields. We did find a small spattering of canola, though we accidentally trespassed on someone’s farm property while doing so. But probably the saddest part of this failed adventure was that we got to the Jersey farm too late, and they were out of the soft cream! Not the day we’d been planning, but still kind of fun.
Sometimes our adventures in the great inaka of Japan don’t pan out. Sometimes, we don’t get that soft cream, or we don’t find the right field of flowers, but no matter what, it’s always still an adventure, right? Keep on adventuring, oh ye Aomori pioneers! And, hey, if you ever have a wacky adventure you’d like to share with the world, send it this way and we can make it a part of this column. Doesn’t matter if you succeeded in the intended plan, or if things had to be altered or forfeited. The outcome isn’t what matters, it’s the process of the journey that’s the real adventure!