Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dear Ono Castle

To the castle in my beloved Japanese hometown—Ono (大野市):

Dear Ono-jo,

Do you still remember how we came to be acquainted? It was during the first few days of my arrival in Ono and my wonderful Japanese friend, Tomiko, introduced you to me. I looked upwards in the direction she pointed and saw you sitting majestically atop the hill. Wow, our very own castle in our city! I thought you were really cool. And I looked to you in reverence. Gaining entry into your once restricted grounds, I gazed through your windows and saw all of Ono lying beneath your feet. So, this is how it all looks like to you.

Of course I had to return to you many times after that first visit. I especially liked to do so in the late summer afternoons. A sense of calm pervades once I enter your holy grounds.

In the ascension, I hear the sounds of the myriad of insects each singing to its own tune. Occasionally, I pass by an oji-chan and oba-chan on their evening exercise and we nod at each other.

Peeping through the foliage, if I see that the sky is slowly darkening, I would hasten my footsteps a little until I see your familiar gates welcoming me.

Ahh, just in time for the magnificient sunset. I would try to stare at it without blinking so I could actually detect its descending movement.

Once it escapes into the arms of the distant mountains, it’ll be back to you and me, Ono-jo. We enjoy each other’s company in knowing silence.

You always look so coy in Spring when the Sakuras embrace you, Ono-jo. In the day, you look splendid. But in the night you are simply mesmerising. The lanterns light up my path to you.

And then there you are! I see you beautifully adorned with these flowers of the palest pink.

Oh my, that particular Sakura tree just beside your feet is absolutely gorgeous! You certainly keep the best near you.

Look at all the others too, they are all looking beautiful for you!

Silently, you preside over the city all year long. But in the winter, you drape yourself and your grounds with so much snow I find it hard to get to you. But I know your remain. The cold months will end and I will see you up close again soon.


I’m missing my life in Japan and decided to put to use the numerous photos I had taken. Hm… maybe I should consider sharing more of these here. They’re basically about my life in countryside Japan, with an occasional visit to neighbouring cities. Would that be too dull for you? What do you think? Let me know, ya?

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you can find more of such posts by clicking on “Japan” under the “Cookie Flavour” section in the right panel and scrolling through the posts. I previously wrote a little about Ono as well (you can find it here), as 1 of an 8-parter series I did based on my recent (but long awaited!) trip to Japan. These are also found in the posts tagged with "Japan".


  1. I always enjoyed reading your adventure in Japan and i think it would be a great idea to share with us your life in countryside japan! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!


  2. Oh gosh, I love the way you wrote this post! It must've been awesome to be living so near a castle. I am all for Japan-themed posts! :)

  3. Thank you for sharing beautiful photos! I haven't seen sakura in Japan for 11 years and I miss them a lot. Are you going back to japan sometime soon?

  4. Thanks for your messages. You guys are the best!

    Natsumi: The Nihon Sakuras are sight a sight to behold! Simply breath-taking, aren't they? Hope you'll have a chance to see them soon. I just returned in June. I'm afraid it'll be awhile before I go again :(

  5. Hey babe, since you love Japan so much, have you ever thought of relocating to that country?

  6. Hey Jace, hmmm good question. I haven't given a serious thought about it but you definitely got me thinkging there!


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