CraftGene Craft_vol.0

Why do not you travel in Japan to see craftsmen? There are many charms in the rural areas of Japan to satisfy you.


>> P.2

KESENNUMA2CraftGeneSeemsodd,doesn’tit?Aftervisitingthebrewery,myonlythoughtwas,ifsomethingasessentialandlongstandingasJapanesebrewingisnotatraditionalcraft,thenwhatis?WhyonEarthareJapanesesakeandshochunotconsideredtraditionalcrafts?Whatexactlydotheylackcomparedtoothercrafts?Thisquestionoftencomesupnotjustinthecontextofbrewing.Somethingfeelsoffabouttheprocessofselection.Irealizedthatwhatreallymakesacrafttraditionalisifitisatraditiontoyouandyourcommunity.Iknewthathadtobeit.VisitingKesennuma--astandoutexampleoftheMichinoku(Tohoku)wayoflifeLet’sdelveintoKesennuma.KesennumaissynonymouswiththeSanrikuregionandMiyagiPrefecture.SendaiinMiyagiisextremelyclosetoTokyo,andfeelsnearbyandaccessible.Youcangetthereinthesametime--90minutes--itwouldtakeyoutoreachNagoya,soyoucouldgothereonadaytrip.However,gettingtoKesennumaisabitdifferent.EventakingthefastestbullettrainfromTokyo,youhavetotransferatIchinoseki.Alltold,ittakesaboutfourhoursor,morefrequently,closertofive.Youmaybeheavingasighandthinkingit’sjusttoofaraway.Ordoyoufinditallenchanting,ifabitdistant?Personally,I’mofthesorttobeenchantedbytheseplaces,butgiventhatyoucan’tjustpickupandgo,Ifindthatgettingbothphysicallypackedandmentallyreadyputsmemoreinthemoodtotravel.PreparingforthistripmademefeelthatKesennumawasmoreapproachableandcloserthanIthought.Afterall,themostfunofatripisarguablywhenyouarepreparingforitandfantasizingaboutwhereyou’llgo.Aretherethreecoastlineshere?Onmyway,Ifoundmyselfthinkingaboutalittlefactoid.Riku”meanscoastlineinJapanese,and“san”meansthree.Doesthatmeantherearethreecoastlines?Mysenseofthegeographywasabitvague--wasthe“SanRiku”areatheregionspanningfromMatsushismainMiyagiPrefecturetoKamaishiandKujiinIwatePrefecture?Thisgotmewonderingaboutwherethe“Sanriku”namecamefrom.【Sanriku】TheSanrikuregionencompassestheSanrikuCoastline,whichspansMiyagiPrefecture,IwatePrefecture,andAomoriPrefecture,andtheKitakamiHighlands,locatedinlandoftheseareas.“Sanriku”infactisacollectivenamereferringtotheancientprovincesofRikuzennoKuni,RikuchunoKuni,andMutsunoKuni.Source:Kotobank(explanationfromBritannicaInternationalEncyclopedia)Ah,nowIgetit.So“Sanriku”isthe“three”regionsofRikuzen,Rikuchu,andMutsu.Andapparently,SanrikuspansthroughHachinohe.Surprisingly,Ineverknewthesefacts.Asitturnsout,Ididn’ttraveltoKesennumafromTokyo,whereI’musuallybased.IhappenedtobeinKyushu,soImademywayfromthere.ThereasonisbecausetheTorisuFestival,organizedbyMasahiroKishida,aKaratsuwareartistfromSaga,wasbeingheldataroundthesametime.Ihavebeenattendingforthelastthreeyearsorso,andlovetheexperience.It’sbecomeamust-visitforme.That’swhyIheadedoutfromFukuoka,takingajettoSendaiInternationalAirportandthentransferringtoalocaltrainasIslowlypliedmywaytowardsKesennuma,gettingexcitedonmyway.Theroutewasaslowandpleasantone,withmanysurprisesalongtheway.WhatfirstimpressedmewastheroutefromFukuokatoSendai.HeadingfromKyushu,asweleavewesternJapan,wethenreachKanazawa,andfromthereheadtoNiigata,ascendingupthecoastoftheSeaofJapan.Fromthere,wetraverseFukushimalengthwise,eventuallyreachingSendai.ThesceneryonviewonthisrouteisentirelydifferentfromwhatyouwouldexperienceiftravelingalongthePacificOceanfromTokyo.WesternJapan,withitsgentleandslopingmountains,giveswaytothesharpprecipicesofMountHakusanandTateyama.FromtheskiesoverNiigata,weseetheJapan“Alps”andtheEchigoMountains,withMt.Fujiinthedistanceactingasaclimax.Inthespanofjustonehour,weseeaveritableall-starcastofJapan’sgreatestmountains.Meanwhile,aftertouchinggroundandmakingourwayfromSendai,wearetreatedtoaslowtrainvoyage.TakingaslowtrainontheTohokuMainLineoutofSendaiInternationalAirport,weseericepaddies,theharvesthavingjustended,aswemakeourwaytoIchinoseki.Onarrival,aquainttwo-cardiesellocomotiveawaitsusattheOfunatoLine.Sittinginthecabin-styleseats,gentlesunlightdapplesinthroughthewindows.Thedieselenginechugsitswayalonginasteadyfashion,passingtheKitakamiMountainsandenteringKesennuma,alongthecoast.Thetriptakesyoufromskytoland.Perhapsitwasthegentlesunlightsignalingtheendoffallandthebeginningofwinter,buttheroutewasatrueluxurytorideon,withexcellentviewsofthemountainssnakingthroughJapan’s“spine,”aswellastheSanrikuregion’sownmystique.Ifyouhaveachance,trytakingarouteabitoutoftheordinaryandseeingwhatithastooffer.TOHOKUSANRIKUAferrylinkingKesennumaportandOshimaarrivedinthestillwavesofevening.Theferrytakesabout25minutestoreachOshima.Thissturdydiesellocomotive,oldfaithful,makesitswayfromIchinoseki.


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