Sunday, May 20, 2007

Oya rock

Some of you nice people write comments saying that you've enjoy reading my blog because I occasionally give glimpses of Japanese life and that it opens up your world. Well, since I started blogging I've found that I've opened up my own world. I do normal things and find myself thinking, "that's something that someone might find interesting." Or "isn't that pretty. I ought to share a picture of that." Yesterday we drove by a place we drive by nearly once a week and since I had the camera I asked Tetsu to stop the car so I could take some pictures. Scenery I've seen hundreds of times, but yesterday it looked different to me.

This is along the road we use when we go to Tetsu's mother's place. The area is called Oya and it is very famous because of the oya rock quarry there. Oya rock is a soft volcanic stone that is quite expensive in other parts of Japan but here it lies along the roadside. It is good for making walls and cobblestones, and has a light green color that I've read in time deepens in intensity. Artists enjoy carving the stones into beautiful objects.

The rock quarry is huge and quite a few years ago I remember that a whole farming area in the oya district suddenly collapsed because the land had so much rock mined from under it. The quarry hasn't been mined for many years now and instead it has been turned into a museum, an event hall and a chapel. The unique atmosphere in the underground quarry is quite mysterious and the acoustics attract musical artists.

This last picture I'm afraid, I didn't take myself, I checked out the Oya website and found it, but I've been down in the quarry before and this is really how it looks. It is always quite cold in it and voices echo off the walls and from the ceilings that are invisible in the darkness above.


anne bebbington said...

Looking at the greenery in some of those pictures it's amazing to see how nature reclaims man-made blights on the landscape and turns them back into something beautiful. Here in the UK coal mining was a massive industry in several main areas - then it became uneconomic so was discontinued - now nature is reclaiming those ugly blots on the landscape (with a little help from ecologists) and the areas are becoming lovely once more

QuiltingFitzy said...

Isn't it wonderful to look at your own place with new eyes! Thanks again.

Norma said...

Please continue to share glimpses of your country and culture. I enjoy reading about such things since it is a very slim chance that I will ever get there in person.

YankeeQuilter said...

How beautiful! Thanks for the photos. When I visited Japan I never got out of the city...big mistake!

Patti said...

What a fascinating place - thanks so much for sharing!