Hokkaidō Island offers great winter birding opportunities, delightful cuisine, and relaxing Japanese baths.
Hokkaidō Island in northern Japan is one of my favorite locations for photography in the world. I have been to this rather arctic island twice in February to photograph birds. The weather on Hokkaidō in winter resembles spring on the Varanger Peninsula in Norway, and some of the snowstorms can definitely be heavy!
Blakiston’s Fish-Owls, Red-crowned Cranes, and Steller’s Sea-Eagles are the main targets on Hokkaidō, but the island also offers good chances for Black Kites, White-tailed Eagles, Pintails, and Whooper Swans. The fishing ports attract Scaups, Red-breasted Mergansers, Goosanders, and Harlequin Ducks. They are easily photographed, especially if you use a car as a blind. Many gulls favor the ports, too. For a bird photographer, Hokkaidō in winter is full of great opportunities!
Hokkaidō can be reached from Tokyo by plane or bullet train. A flight from Tokyo to the Kushiro Airport takes about an hour. The island has lots of lodging at various levels. Renting a car is easy, but the roads can be icy and covered with snow. You will find great cuisine at Hokkaidō, and a Japanese bath puts a crown on any day.
‘I could write a cliché about conservation here but I won’t and I won’t because I can’t.’ The gesture politics of that dead elm is sufficient and your own reasons for driving above walking and mine for typing on a laptop under fake light and not a typewriter under an electric summer noon.
Where does it get us, this wood, and these winding paths so like the paths we’d like to make through the woods of our lifetimes with their borders on the unsure growth but clear and cleared to make our movements easier, our voices lower, below the half-lit and otherworldly leaves?
There’s a viewpoint in this conversation like the viewpoint we are standing at overlooking that landfill, the sight at first as insolent as a chainsaw in the chest of the fells until you hear about how the fell-side is dug then double-dug by the great gardeners in their bulldozers.
It is true that what we waste bends back to grind us. My rubbish is also here in me, and I shove and shovel it around every day, sometimes alert to its weight and stench but most of the time too busy or bored to see or scent the wealth and ruin of evidence, its blowflies, the extended families of vermin. Much of that time you won’t notice it either unless you take against me which I’m hoping this conversation might prevent. As you say, if somebody takes against you there’s no landfill can hide you or me, dig us, double-dig us into cleansing soil.
Les particularités géologiques du Japon ont déjà été évoquées plus haut. Long archipel s
étendant pratiquement de la côte de la Sibérie aux tropiques, le pays est un concentré de paysages et de climats auxquels s
ajoutent son histoire, sa civilisation et ses pratiques commerciales.
Gotenyama à Shinagawa sur la route de Tôkaidô
de la série Trente-six Vues du Mont Fuji (Fugaku sanjūrokkei)
Nishiki-e (gravure sur bois polychrome), 39 x 26 cm (ōban)
It can be a great help if you are aware of what a grieving person can go through, so you yourself may wish to read up about grief and bereavement, not just the earlier pages here, but other books also. In this way you may be able to be more understanding when, perhaps, someone seems to be irrationally angry for a while, as happens, or keeps dropping things. (You will recall from Chapter Two and the list of effects of grief that muscles are affected.)
Some of the ideas outlined in Chapter Five could also be suggested, and perhaps you could work along with the bereaved with some of the ideas. They may also spark off other ideas that are more suitable for your friend. My suggestions are just examples.
At a time of loss it is so hard for the one grieving to make the move, so don’t hesitate to make the offer, to issue the invitation. The last thing the bereaved need is to be ignored, abandoned, left to get on with it because we don’t know what to say or how to say it. Some cross the road rather than meet the person who has suffered a bereavement. In doing this they exacerbate the bereaved person s sense of loss. Often the bereaved person finds that they are having to reassure others about their own loss. How back to front this is, and yet it is so often the reality. We certainly need to be tactful, sensitive to what people want and need. We can but ask! Is it so difficult to say, What would help? , and I am so sorry , or to give a hug if that is appropriate? If the person simply does not know, can we not try to see if there is some way to help.