Japanese literary Tour and Meal in a Novelist’s House
The other day some Japanese friends were nice enough to take us, knowing my penchant for Japanese literature, on a tour of some of the hot spots of Japanese novelists. These included a monument to Natusmi Soseki, whose work Kokoro is one of the most straightforward, yet emotionally poignant books I have ever read. Also as part of the tour we saw the dormitory where Haruki Murakami spent his university years, although we were assured that his time spent in lectures was very brief during his four year stint. This may explain the sentiment in some of his books that the system of education is actually useless when you can learn almost everything you need to know from a book or hands-on experience.
We finished the night off by eating a very traditional meal in the house of a famous writer (don’t get too exited – he wrote a book on Miso recipes). Each course was explained in depth by the waitress before we began to eat. Finally we were taken to a firefly viewing garden near the Four Seasons hotel. Unfortunately the little guys were shy and we only saw one or two, their abdomens throbbing with light intermittently like a distant lighthouse dulled by fog.
The surprise highlight of the tour was a very impressive, 60s (two words that rarely go together in Britain) Catholic Cathedral, as unique in design as it was impressive in scale. Here’s the link.