The Forest

When I arrived at the Ikisan station, the station closest to Studio Kura, the first thought that came to me was about how Alan Rickman says in Ang Lee's Sense & Sensibility: "The air was full of spices." That's what it felt like, this tropical humid heat, filled with scents and sounds I'd never heard before. I remember seeing a huge butterfly, bigger than a bird and all sorts of flowers and trees I'd only ever seen at the botanical gardens of Oulu. I've spent a fair amount of time at the botanical gardens; my sister had an acrobatics performance there and I was producing it, so for a lot of the time I just sat there while she practiced and tried to answer a million e-mails at once. The gardens have this one particular room that actually manages to feel just like Japan. I never really thought they could be that accurate, but that room is also what I'm reminded of, when I step outside now.

The air also sort of feels like hot soup. Except more pleasant. It's heavy. But maybe we'll stick with "The air was full of spices", it's a bit more romantic. And said by Alan Rickman, which I hear is hot currency with some people.

Yesterday we went to check out the forests. Originally I had an idea that I would shoot a model in the forest, because that's what I do a lot in Finland. Turns out, not as easy in here. The forests are basically huge, steep hills covered with trees and often so thick that people actually laughed when I talked about my intention to just stroll into the woods. The animals in the woods are sort of also a bit different than back home, though surprisingly the mosquitoes are exactly the same. I swear the one that sat on me is the same asshole I saw back in Finland. Can't get away from these little fuckers anywhere, can you.

However, I found a few routes from GoogleMaps (bless your heart, GM, you've been my guardian angel) that looked like paths through through the woods to the forest and off I went to explore, with another resident artist. We had to ride up a hill and then eventually switch to walking up a hill. But we found a quite beautiful, if suffocatingly hot route through the forest.

There were so many different trees! I've never seen bamboo trees in real life before, they're gorgeous! They also look like street light poles do back home, though those poles aren't gorgeous. It was just funny, because walking through the woods, when I wasn't really paying attention, it felt like walking in a sea of light poles. But bamboo is a really interesting material. Never really thought of that before. The way it's layered and structured inside, so fascinating!

I also found a necktie I thought was a snake. It really looked like a snake! I don't know if it should be comforting or disappointing that the Japanese, who seem to take such pride in being tidy and thoughtful about nature, will still do what we Finns do and throw garbage far enough into the forest and hope nobody'll find it.

Later on we saw a real snake! That was really creepy. I didn't even think of snakes, I've been busy thinking about spiders. I found out this little fucker is actually super poisonous.

The forest trail was pretty fascinating all in all. We stumbled onto an old shrine, covered with spiderwebs and plants quickly taking over. There were different plantations or gardens up there too, which felt very exotic considering it was the middle of the woods, high up on a hill, if not a mountain. There were also some man-made structures, like a short road and rocks piled up, like castle ruins. It was definitely a secret garden.

Eventually we arrived at the beach. It was a beautiful beach, though calling a beach here beautiful is kind of moot because they're all beautiful and the word loses its meaning. It was a gorgeous, secret beach with big rocks and overhanging trees but it wasn't really for swimming, it was a bit dirty. I was hoping to find a beach for swimming because of the heat and I just really need to swim in the goddamn ocean! But not on this beach.

Then we made our way home and probably broke our bikes trying to brake down the hill. The whole village heard the screeching, like two pigs being slaughtered for a a good long while. But I guess they're used to weird stuff around here, what with all the artists visiting.

Here's a cool looking rock formation from the beach. It sort of looks like the rock would have teeth. I wish I was a geologist and knew what kind of a phenomena will make a formation like this. It was in many rocks, it must have been something big. Or maybe these are the teeth of some ancient sea-monster that will rise one day from beneath the island!


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