For the best part of the past three weeks, whenever I have looked out the window, all I saw was grey skies and/or rain. This-morning I pulled-back the drapes to be greeted by blue skies and the sun.
The weekend of the 21st & 22nd of October the 21st typhoon of 2017 came-ashore after gaining strength out in the Pacific Ocean. As-soon-as it struck land - the islands of Okinawa - it then turned right and made it's way up the East Coast of Japan, dumping and enormous amount of water on the country. In the area near where I live, there are four major rivers - the Kizu, Uji and Katsura and, when they converge, they become the Yodo River. It's always exciting, after a storm of this magnitude, to head-out on my bike and check the damage.
In my last post, Reflection, I mentioned how my mood had deteriorated and how I was feel low. When the weather forecasters predicted that today would be fine, I needed no encouragement to get out and blow the cobwebs off my body, and my bike. My course, a regular course of 64km,would follow the four rivers mentioned, and I made sure my smartphone was fully charged so I could take any photos of interest. I felt invigorated and today's ride was going to be a good one. 3.5-hours after leaving home, I returned feeling on top-of-the-world. And, much to my joy, no ill side-effects.My bike will need another wash as, with all the sediment left behind after the water receded, it is very dirty. Today's ride has given me the impetus to take advantage of the fine weather predicted for the coming week.
Last-night my wife and I talked about the many questions we have for the doctor, when we next meet on the 14th November. Over the past several months some things have been happening concerning my body. A website I read hinted that these may have been symptoms of Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy - tenderness of the scalp & malaise. Today's ride was also good as I felt I am getting better used to the weakness in my left eye, and adapting to the difference between the two.
About this time of night, 7pm-to-8pm, when my wife is at work, I like to take a stroll through the neighbourhood. Just as I was about to set-off, I discovered it was raining. Maybe tomorrow for that stroll.
I shall now share a few images from today's ride.
This is the Kazuya Bridge that crosses the Kizu River. It is the oldest wooden bridge in Japan. It is unique, in that the platform, that spans the bridge, is not attached to the pylons. But, instead, each segment is held together by a strand of steel rope. So, whenever a flood of this magnitude, the platform separates and is washed-down river, to be salvaged and re-attached later. On this occasion the pieces have remained attached to the main structure, the first time I have seen this in the five times the bridge has been damaged since I came to Japan 13-years ago.
This is the car-park next to the Uji River. Most days this space is nearly full of vehicles of picnickers, walkers, cyclists, and many other.
To the left in the image, is a peninsular that separates the Kizu and Uji Rivers. The confluence of the three rivers is at the top of the image.
As I was making my way down the true right of the Yoda River, I encountered this sad sight. A fish caught in the flood unable to make it back to the river.
About a hundred meters further back, I had to cycle through a half-meter of water, as I was making my way through it, I could see many fish caught, separated from home.
This is the Yodo River from the Hirakata bridge. As can be seen, the river would have flooded, stretching across both sides.