While the rest of Japan probably spent Golden Week in quarantine at home, I headed off to Matsue city where I'm spending two months on a business trip helping out a school that has merged in with my company.
Matsue is squished between two giant bodies of water. See here:
Lake Shinji is freshwater but turns brackish as some of the sea water gets up the river from Nakanoumi. This has resulted in a lot of different kinds of fish, eels, and shells that can be taken from the lake. There are lots of little clams that people gather and put in their miso soup. I think the geography is really interesting and I was super excited to go exploring.
On the map, my new apartment looked like a straight line from the station. It didn't mention the two rounds of stairs and the fact that I'm living on top of a hill. When I got there, I was surprised to find that my company has put me in a house! I've got two floors, two bedrooms, a parking lot, a storage shed, and all appliances included!! Being at the top of the hill, the view is kinda amazing.
From my house, you can take the road down, which ends at a staircase which curves through a little wooded area until it gets to a shrine. From the shrine you can just barely see Lake Shinji in the distance. The lake is famous for sunsets. As if the sun were "better" by the lake or something.
If you keep moving down the hill, you start crossing over various canals and rivers that lead from the lake to the Nakanoumi lagoon. The largest of these also flows around Matsue Castle, and has been integrated into its moat. This castle was built in the early 17th century and is still standing.
If you go the other way from my house, you move into a wooded area with parks for kids here and there, and little groves of bamboo elsewhere. It's the perfect place for a morning or evening walk. I absolutely love it!
The only thing I don't have in this city is friends to share it with! But until the State of Emergency is over, that's going to be one I just have to tough out.