Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Hidemi’s Rambling No.378

In my childhood, I lived with my grandmother who inevitably said, “There’s no place like home” when she got back from her rare traveling. I used to think that meant a huge waste of time, money and effort considering that she judged home was best after the trip. But when I came back from my trip this time, I thought, “There’s no place like home” by myself. Does it mean I’ve already felt at home in my new apartment in this new town? Or, am I just simply getting old? It snowed in this region yesterday for the first time in this winter and the ground was thinly covered with snow. The region is famous as a heavy snowfall area. As I had lived for a long time in the urban area where it seldom snowed, I’m exhilarated when it snows. But local people here feel depressed about snow since it’s too much. I’m having my first winter here and not sure how long and severe it will be. So far, I’ve been still fond of winter and snow. When I live here long enough, will I get tired of snow and hate winter? Maybe that’s when this place really becomes my home…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.377

The hotel that I stayed at for the night of my trip was a brand-new one and included an all-you-can-eat breakfast although I had found it online at the lowest price. The cool lobby sparkled with cleanliness and high-tech gadgets were here and there like the card key that called the elevator or opened the room with electronic sounds by just being held over the small panel. But stepping into the room, I was taken aback at its small space. It had two small double windows designed not to open since the hotel stood right above the train station. I was afraid that I couldn’t breathe and sleep because I have claustrophobia. Thankfully, I did both, as it seemed I’ve been overcoming claustrophobia since I moved in a town surrounded by the mountains. Next morning, I went down to the restaurant for the breakfast buffet I’d looked forward to. Although the place was quite big and had many tables, only few tables were left empty. Along the buffet was a dire long line of guests to get food. There were too many people everywhere! I began to find it luxurious that I now lived in a sparsely populated town with plentiful vacant lots. I think nature is astonishingly beautiful, far more so than neat shops. Few people agree with me and that’s why the city is packed with so many people…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.376

I visited the Tokyo metropolitan area for the first time in six months since I moved out there. After getting off the bullet train, I walked to the faraway platform to transfer the train. Because Tokyo Station is too big and so many different train lines come in, it took fifteen minutes to get to the platform even by using the moving-walk. The whole station was filled with an enormous number of people even though it was midday of a weekday. It reminded me of a news image of a department’s floor in US on Black Friday. I assume the total number of people walking in a long tunnel between the platforms for one day exceeds the number of shoppers for one year at the busiest shopping area in the town where I currently live. On both sides of the tunnel were cool shops that glowed in the dazzling light. After a 40-minute train ride, I arrived at the nearest station to Costco, which was my first destination for this two-day trip. This station was also crammed with passengers all the way to the ticket gate. To descend from the platform to the ticket gate, the long lines were formed in front of the huge stairways. It took a good ten minutes to exit the station and I missed the bus to Costco. It was raining with bitter wind, as the weather forecast had said. The thing that has been almost always wrong proved right on the particular day of my trip…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.375

My weekend trip to the city approaches. I basically like to travel, but it’s a time-consuming process to make a plan, to check the train schedules and the transfers, and to make reservations for the bullet trains and a hotel at the lowest prices. I’ve been still unpacking after moving in here and setting for my home studio is unfinished which means my music work has been suspended. Added to that is packing for the trip and setting the timer of an HDD recorder for TV programs while I’m away. Since it’s the first time to go down to the city from the secluded, highland town in six months, my schedule of the trip is quite tight with lots of things to do. I wonder I can really enjoy this trip. If a trip begins when it’s planned, so far it’s a tie between excitement and stress. Because I’m spending a lot of money for a cheap person, I’ve been under tremendous pressure to make the trip worthwhile and to keep a good condition without catching a cold. In the meantime, the weather forecast for the first day of the trip is for rain…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.374

Each of us has a must-have item for our dream home. For some, it’s a walk-in closet, and for others, it’s a Lazy Boy. For me, it’s a bagel guillotine. I’d always dreamed about life with a bagel guillotine on a breakfast bar. Actually, the final push to decide on my new apartment was its online picture showing the breakfast bar opposite to the kitchen. But I’d never seen a bagel guillotine on the market in Japan. To begin with, Japanese people hardly eat bagels. They like soft, tender food and tough food like bagels doesn’t appeal to them. A few days ago, I happened to go in a small cafe in town for the first time and they carried a bagel guillotine at 80% off in the obscure corner. It was an odd appearance since the cafe didn’t carry bagels nor any merchandise except for the bagel guillotine. The only merchandise they carried there and the only one who had wanted one of those in this small town encountered miraculously. I got it and put it on the breakfast bar in my apartment. I was so satisfied and felt moving in here was a right decision. But to get bagels themselves, I have to go down to the city on a long train ride because I haven’t seen a store carry bagels here…

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