I tackled the hill again this morning with much greater success. I’d mostly attribute it to checking maps more thoroughly and having sunlight.
I also finally did keel over on my bike. I don’t know why one might be inclined to lean towards the foot that is not clipped out of its pedal, but hey. Inevitability. The worst of it is a tiny scratch on my arm and a small patch on my leg that’s feeling bruised. A slow soft fall by any standards. To add insult to tiny injury, however, I noticed a map that would've solved my directional problems last time. Face palm.
Anyway. Once again making my way through Ikazaki I had to give in to my recent rice harvesting obsession. Today I saw how the farmers were taking the rice that had dried off the poles and putting it through machines. The machine seems to slice the head off, where the grain is, and then the dry stalk bunch is pushed aside and the machine jumbles the grains around inside a bit and spits out more chaff.
You’ll also notice that the plant sprouts again where it’s been cut off, but I haven’t seen that this grows up successfully. I think in more tropical parts this second sprouting grows up and can deliver again.
On the hill I passed by the farm that I had reached the last time and noticed that the prevailing manure smell was in fact generated by cows. I also made it to the top where I could see the farmland that I’d noticed on Google maps. There were some persimmon orchards and vegetable patches. You’ll notice the very low electrified fence which is to keep the inoshishi out.
I was somewhat alarmed to find myself in what sounded like the vicinity of loud shots. I’ve heard these in town before, but obviously they were a long way off. I whistled as I cycled, this time not to ward off the wild boars in the dark, but the people who, I imagined, were shooting at them in the light.
The trip down was of course very speedy. I worked in some more rice shots and a car and a workshop that seem to be used equally often.
Total distance: 14.5km
Lowest point: 60m
Highest point: 320m