Hey, it's Green Day!
Last week on May 4th, it was Green Day. No, not that popular group (that I have actually never heard perform except for their tunes belting out by foreigners at Karaoke...), it was 緑の日 (midori no hi).
OK, a little history...from 1989 to 2006, April 29th used to be Midori No Hi = Greenery Day, and was celebrated as the birthday of the late Emperor Showa (Showa = Hirohito, 昭和時代, Showa jidai, literally "period of enlightened peace".) Following the accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne of the current Emperor Akihito, the name "Birthday of the Emperor" was changed to "Greenery Day” due to the late Emperor’s love of the greenery of the nation. Many have used this day to celebrate the appreciation of nature and several activities such as tree planting or park clean ups are carried out.
Effective 2007, Green Day was transferred from April 29th to May 4th and placed between two other Golden Week holidays. (May 4th used to be called 国民の休日 or Kokumin no Kyujitsu or "Day shoved between two holidays Day".) April 29th now reflects the actual date of Showa's birthday and is called 昭和の日 (Showa Day.)
Phew, quite the mouthful and why am I going on about it, you may ask? There is madness in my method. Using Koriyama as my focal point, I then traveled to Japan's 4th largest lake, 猪苗代湖 (Lake Inawashiro.) 磐梯山, (Mt. Bandai) can be seen off in the distance and Inawashiro is the hometown of 野口 英世, (Dr. Hideyo Noguchi, 1876-1928), whose picture can be seen on the 1000￥ bill. Following shall be several photos I took while booting around the lake in a rented bicycle.
Bandai-san from one angle.
And Bandai-san from another angle (not much difference is there?)
The famous グラスミュジアム (Glass Museum!) It's not really a museum, but just a huge place where you can buy all kinds of crap made from Glass. There's not a single historical word about glass to be found!
I tried a 福引 (fuku-biki where one turns the crank on a Lotto-type devise and out pops a white/ black or red ball. Get a white ball, and you get a crappy prize, a black ball wins you a medium prize and the red ball gets you a grand prize. For my 500￥, I got a black ball and a cool looking tumbler with a Schooner on it, worth 2500￥!)
I rented a bike and snapped a few picks of the surrounding greenery. If you squint, you can see a crane in flight.
More lakefront with lots of reeds.
A few cherry blossoms are still blooming.
Even more lakefront and reeds.
赤べこ (aka-beko) Funny story, I went to a tourist trap to buy one and inquired about the name of the Red Dog. She looked at me funny and told me, "Aka-beko". Much to my surprise, I later discovered that it is, in fact, a Red Cow. This picture was taken outside a Restaurant that serves Beef, not Dog!
Perhaps, IMHO, the best photo that I have ever taken.
So nice, I snapped it twice!
Contrarily, here's the reason for the diatribe on Green Day, for littered throughout the shore of the lake, is tons of discarded garbage. Most of the trash was Pet Bottles, washed ashore from litterbug-fishermen, but I did see a discarded TV set. It wouldn't take that much effort to clean it up!
And finally is a picture of a Convenience Store-bought beer can, featuring Hideyo Noguchi. He is a bacteriologist who first discovered Treponema pallidum, the causative agent of syphilis. I opted against entering his Museum, I didn't really want to see photos of clapped-up genitalia!