Sorachi de Cycling/spring sports report


 

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My cycling pals said, "Numata in spring is the best!" I wasn't sure what they actually meant.
What's so special about farmland before the planting season? Anyway, I came and started cycling down the roads smoothly.
First I made a stop and took some pictures at Ashimoi Station.
"Is this the smell of spring?" What I felt was the smell of the soil in paddy fields where snow was left here and there.
Then I found a white wagtail feeding on a worm in a paddy field.
Another sign of spring! "Hmmm, not bad !" I said to myself.
Gradually, my feeling ran high and I headed to Moe-no-Oka Hill, famous for lupines in summertime.
It was too early to see any, though.
It was a hard climb up the steep hill, but I managed to reach the hilltop lookout.
There, I looked down and saw the checkerboard pattern of the unplanted paddy fields all around.
The contrast of the colors was so impressive: the brown paddy fields below, the blue clear sky above, and the white snow-covered peaks of the Taisetsu Mountains in the distance.
Feeling so refreshed but with cold feet and hands, I headed for town to buy something warm to drink.
A can of hot coffee was just the thing to warm me up.
When I finally got back to Horoshin Onsen, I rewarded myself with a bath there.
Warm inside the bath water, I was thankful to my cycling pals and decided to buy them a bottle of local sake called Yuki Nagori.

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