Train rides, especially longer ones, allow us to be imaginative with our thoughts. Sitting comfortably in your seat while watching the views outside as the train glides along the tracks past scenic landscapes is a perfect time for introspection if not a mundane one.
Yesterday, I embarked on an extensive train journey, spanning from Tokyo to Fukuoka via the renowned Shinkansen. The journey continued with a local train from Fukuoka to Saga and concluded with yet another Shinkansen ride from Saga to Nagasaki.
Throughout the expansive 7-hour ride, I found myself immersed in deep contemplation.
Journeying from Tokyo to Fukuoka: Mount Fuji, companion of a book
Mount Fuji took center stage as the Nozomi Shinkansen swept us gracefully from Tokyo to Fukuoka.
When I caught sight of Mount Fuji from the Shinkansen, its snowy crown was absent. The summer heat had melted away Fuji San’s snow cap, leaving her bare, yet its beauty remained as captivating as ever.
This moment struck me, drawing a parallel to our human experience. Just as the mountain retained its beauty without its usual adornment, I recognized that even during times when we might lack something or our inner radiance temporarily fades, we, too, possess an enduring beauty.
I want you to remember that.
My newly-trusted companion
As I looked out at Mount Fuji and the green landscapes from the Shinkansen, I felt a newfound calmness. The journey became more soothing, thanks to my companion – a book about Wabi Sabi by Beth Kempton. Our names shared a pleasant coincidence, bringing an extra touch of delight to the experience.
By the way, if you want to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji while riding the Shinkansen, consider reserving Seat D on the right side when departing from Tokyo. If you’re traveling from Fukuoka, opt for Seat D on the left side.
Journeying from Fukuoka to Nagasaki: Passing through Saga’s idyllic landscapes
After a five-hour journey, I made a stop in Hakata before transferring to a local train bound for Saga. Riding on that local train through Saga was an experience I cherished, offering one of the most captivating vistas I’ve encountered.
This tranquil interlude was a welcome departure from the liveliness of the three nights and four days I’d spent in Tokyo. While I’ve resided in Tokyo and have an affection for its bustling energy, my current abode in Nagasaki has rekindled my affinity for the unhurried rhythm of rural life. The swift sojourn and the sweeping fields beyond the train’s window reminded me how deeply I’ve embraced the unhurried charm of the countryside. Tokyo remains dear to me, but it’s here, among the vast stretches of land, that I’ve found my true sense of belonging—a realization that resonates with the heart of a provincial soul.
To more train rides!