August 21, 2012
Mount Fuji hides and we come back to our car to continue bordering the lake in search of abandoned buildings (haikyo). We pull over by the side of the road in the spot where the map indicates the next building. This time an abandoned building is right there and it seems easy to access as we see some open doors from the outside. But just as we get out of the car, we see that in the first floor there are some flowers next to a doorway that seem looked after by someone.
We get closer to the building and suddenly an old lady pops out of the doorway. We realize that the old lady is living in the abandoned building. She greets us with a distrustful smile. She makes a comment about the nice weather, we nod and say that the air is fresher here next to the lakes than in Tokyo, then she tells us straight that we can’t park next to the building. She is kicking us out.
When we are about to get into the car, a man comes out from behind the old lady. He is wearing huge horn-rimmed glasses and a badge with his name hanging from one of the pockets of his suit. She continues talking, now she is telling us with pride about the tree that gives shadow to the area where we have just parked our car. The man with glasses makes me feel uneasy, now we will have to talk to him, and he doesn’t seem someone that smiles to strangers, in fact he seems like he hasn’t smiled for months.
Luckily, the man barely looks at us, he doesn’t say anything, like if we were not there. With his hands clasped behind his back, slightly hunched, he has a cigarette trapped between his lips which is almost a butt. The man walks by, slowly but without stopping. The woman keeps on talking about the tree, she keeps smiling but more and more it’s harder for her. We are already inside our car almost closing the doors.
When we start the engine she decides to stop talking, but she still looks at us. She doesn’t smile anymore and stares at us as we leave and disappear out of her visual field. The man continues walking by the roadside with his gaze lost in the horizon. We look at him out of the corner of our eyes when we pass him, he is still ignoring us. After the joy of seeing Mount Fuji, we still have a bad taste in our mouth after this “murakami-esque” moment.
Two curves later, in the forest area, we see something that looks like the house of a wealthy man.
On the contrary to the first place we found in the morning, this time it looks like the house is easy access, we park and we start exploring the haikyo!