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.