Starbucks Just Came to Town

There was a long line and it took about 1:40 to grab a first latte in Kitami

Today (November 3rd) is a Japanese national holiday of “Culture Day”. This is a very abstract national holiday name at a glance though, the reason why today is the day is because today was the birthday of MEIJI Era Emperor. We Japanese divide years into certain periods due to basically the changing of the Emperor. Today, we are living in REIWA era, but it was after HEISEI, SHOWA, TAISHO and MEIJI era. Before the MEIJI period was EDO period. The period was governed by military governments, so we can say that MEIJI period is a kind of big milestone in terms of our system of government.

Anyway, we Japanese had not eaten any beef but fish until MEIJI period. It is said that, from the MEIJI period, government have tried to install many western cultural things like western way of outfits, cuisine, transportation system or like that. The government tried to make Japan like empires like UK, France, Russia in that time. And I assume that was the time we started to think like every western culture is high culture, and we underestimate Japanese domestic cultures. Anyway, MEIJI emperor tries to invite many western cultures to be stronger country or to make new era, his birthday is perhaps named Culture day.

And it is not on the day but just one day before the day, November 2nd. Finally, the Starbucks has come to our town, Kitami city, located in the country side of Hokkaido. The first Starbucks coffee shop was opened in Ginza, Tokyo in 1996, so briefly, it took about 25 years gap between Tokyo and Kitami. But still, I really feel much happiness because it was a great achievement for Kitami citizens who had longed the opening of the third place for several years.

Welcome board messages from Open Staff members, the most is like “We are happy to come here” or like that.

The taste of Chai Tea Latte was a taste of Tokyo. I felt Tokyo closer thanks to this Starbucks.

Social-Distancing drive to “Bihoro-Touge” in Okhotsuk, Hokkaido

美幌峠: BihoroTouge (Bihoro mountain pass)

Today is Saturday, which is my favorite day in a week. You can do almost anything with no responsibilities for tomorrow, you can do many absurd things (I wish I were in Tokyo…) , and maybe Friday evening can also be counted as the “Saturday” in terms of that meaning.

Anyway, since Hokkaido governor still has been declaring state of emergency and requested self restraint to us, it seems that this Saturday would be the worst one ever. However, such announcements are not an order or legal compliance like “curfew” thing. So, I’m so cautious that people start to despise those who going out and having lunch at some cafe or restaurant.

The balance matters. Perhaps the most people take today’s situation as a comparison of the importance of “life” or “economy”. However, for instance, no matter how we try not to go outside and save 30,000 people and then kill 100,000 people by stagnation of economy, was it really the right decision? So, again, the balance should be prioritized. As long as we are taking our best measures for avoiding virus, I believe that we should keep minimum economic activity. If you just follow and obey somebody’s saying without thinking, you can even create war. I hope you would get my point.

Sorry for the long and dull introduction though, I just want to say that I went to car-drive and saw a great view from Bihoro mountain pass, which is famous for the great view of Lake Mashu.

There is still snow leftover out there.
You can see the biggest sky if you look back.
I am so social distanced.
Bought a Jazz record at 辻谷商店 (Tsujita-Shouten) in Teshikaga.

And lastly, I bought a tiny gift for my mother and came back to my house. I hardly talked with anyone (not even close) and always wore a mask during outside. And now, to be honest, I feel really exhausted writing these trivial notifications. I wrote these things because there would be a slight possibility that a few readers could misunderstand and criticize me with unreasonable reasons. And then, I have a strong hate about these kind of peer pressure or atmosphere of the time.

Lastly, I just pray for the healthy and peaceful tomorrow world.

Thank you very much for reading.