Heiwa Waterfall White-Spotted Char

For the last several summers I have hiked the backside of Teine (手稲), Sapporo’s main ski mountain, starting from the Heiwa waterfall (平和の滝) and following the the Hassamu-Kotoni River (発寒琴似川) along the trail. It’s quite the hike. The small stream above the falls runs about a kilometer before a man-made dam blocks any fish moving […]

General Store (Old Sapporo Buildings #2)

Another morning walk encounter. This stalwart purple block unit hasn’t been open for at least a decade (we believe). The ground floor remains permanently shuttered.  Yet the electricity still pipes through to the two vending machines. Don’t know if they generate enough income to even pay the utility bill.

Fishmonger / Dry Cleaner (Old Sapporo Buildings #1)

Starting a series documenting some of the old buildings I come across in my walks around Sapporo. Today’s comes from my morning route up Asahiyama along Asahiyama-Dori. In the day time the right/yellow half is a fish shop. What is more interesting is the blue dry cleaner sign on the left side, which hasn’t been […]

Hakken-zan

I have been in a hiking rut these last few months, mostly sticking to my old familiar climbs close to my apartment in central Sapporo (Maruyama, Moiwa, Asahiyama, Sankakuyama). So I started researching some peaks a little further afield, but still within a few hours biking distance. I came upon Hakken-zan (八剣山) via The Hokkaido […]

Toyohira Rainbow Trout Wonderland

Last weekend we cycled down to the Toyohira River, amongst the urban sprawl, to try and catch some yamame. The few times we bait fished on this stretch last year saw moderate success: a few yamame, some ugui, some sunburn. This time our result was unlike anything I have experienced this close to the city. […]

A Miniature Library Inside My Library

My COVID-19 quarantine is now being rudely interrupted by a return to work next week. No idea how long that will last, what the infection rates are, or what the forecast is. I haven’t read or seen “the News” in about three weeks, and it has transformed my life! With all that cleared out mind […]

COVID-19 and the Image of “Safe” Japan

For as long as I have lived here, Japan has always evoked this image as a “safe” country. “Safe” in the immediate physical harm sense, I could go on ad nauseam about the “unsafe” nature of the overall business/workplace culture to the human psyche. But in terms of my physical safety, I probably haven’t lived […]

News Blackout!

I’ve attempted this many times before. But in the days leading up to the pandemic I re-triggered my news addiction, which in recent weeks sped wildly out of control. Every twenty minutes I was checking infection counts, deaths rates, and the paralyzed response of the Japanese government. As it stands now, here in Sapporo, it’s […]