I feel like the pictures I'm about to show you are the last evidence in this world that once upon a time it used to not rain absolutely all the time. I didn't step any further outside than my balcony today. And I was super relieved that I could keep it that way this evening by inventing an edible dinner with the bit of food that was around.
These pictures are also significant in other ways though. This is probably the most educational field trip I've been on while in Japan. It certainly beats the awful zoo, hands down. I even managed to vaguely learn some things, when I could follow bits of the Japanese explanations. And it all happened right in our own backyard! (See three turquoise pins.)
View Uchiko, Ehime, Japan in a larger map
We visited a water purification facility first. I have to admit that when I came here the concept of don't-throw-your-cooking-oil-down-the-drain was new to me. But now I'm a dutiful user of kitchen towels for small amounts or this stuff for larger amounts. Anyone know what that is called generally, or in English for that matter? As you can see the white pellets give your used oil a nice "solid" face so you can take it out and throw it in your burnable trash.
After the water we went to see how the trash of private companies is disposed of. It seems general trash and company trash are handled separately, even though the contents aren't necessarily that different.
A bit down the hill from the trash incinerator they use the ash to make cement. There was also a very smelly ingredient in the one room where we all just popped our heads in and back out. Not sure what that was about.
On my way back to the office I saw a guy who had built himself one hell of a raised bed for some vegetable farming.
And then it rained. And rained, and... rained.