Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Strange findings in the woods

Now, I don't usually go too mad about the 'only in Japan' kind of posts that you find on many Japan based bloggers' websites, but last weekend I came across something that kind of blew me away. I was taking the small trek through the 'Mini Shirakami' area over on the other side of the mountain - a slight detour from the road which follows the perimeter of the mountain. I was on a bike ride at the time. And whilst walking through the woods I came across this little box stood in the middle of nowhere. Literally in the middle of nowhere.

From my very rough translation of what is written on the front it says something like this:

'Maybe you can hear the sound of water from the Buna trees....

Feel free to use (whatever's in side) at your own liberty....

Make sure you put (whatever it is) back when you've done....'

So, without further ado, I opened the box door to see what was inside.

And, just as I'd suspected, a bunch of surgical stethoscopes were lying there inside.

Now, at this point it would have been natural for anyone to close the door and take a good look around for things like hidden video cameras or TV crews, but I hadn't seen anybody for about thirty minutes prior. I was kind of expecting to run into some forest animals like monkies or bears, not public stethoscopes.

I just couldn't resist. There I was in the UNESCO world heritage Shirakami national park, and for the first time in my life I had the chance to play with a stethoscope. I couldn't hear a thing, just in case you were wondering.

You may have noticed that lately the level of activity on this blog has dropped somewhat. The reason for this is because my employer, Aomori Prefecture Board of Education, decided to filter even more of what's allowed through their network, leaving me with a warning for adult sex every time I try to access this blog at school. It's a bummer, but it has forced me to look further afield across the internet for other sites of interest, thus encouraging a bit more variety to my work day.

Finally, on my weekend cycle ride around the mountain I discovered a really great view that I never knew existed before. The backside of Iwaki. Enjoy.