Monday, March 14, 2011

Lions, and Tigers, and.....Meltdowns?

     Lions, and tigers and bears, has been replaced by earthquakes, and tsunamis, and meltdowns, and in northern Japan I'm sure there are a lot of people who wish they could tap their heels together and be transported to a better place. I've got no idea if the hunting and fishing in Oz are any good, but I've learned over the years that there is actually some good hunting and fishing in Japan.While I've never had the opportunity to do either in Japan, I have done some hiking. Restrictions on firearms in Japan are quite strict, and the requirements to qualify for a hunting license rigid, so I've no realistic expectation of ever hunting there, fishing can be made a reality, however, being popular, and accessible. But while Japan suffers the effects of a devastating earthquake, Tsunami, and the resulting nuclear emergency, all thoughts of which rod, and waders to pack for my next trip there are erased from my mind. What is foremost in my mind is the safety of family, and friends I have in Japan; some of whom are sportsmen I wish to someday fish with again, whether here or in the land of the rising sun.
     Tyler, and Hiroaki are two of those people. While here in the states we had a few adventures in western Mass. chasing trout, and dodging mosquitoes. In Japan our exploits were restricted to rehashing our lies over a couple beers, and sashimi in Tokyo. Hiroaki insists her knows of a stream, teeming with trout, in Niigata. We've yet to see it. Tyler has since been transferred out of Tokyo and is living in another Asian country, but has family in Japan. Hiroaki is still in Tokyo.

     If you're ever in Japan, and in doubt about their sporting tradition, take a visit to the city of Sapporo. While in Sapporo last year I was surprised at the number of outfitters I saw there. Hiking, or trekking as it's called in Japan is popular. Sapporo, being the largest city on the wilderness filled north island of Hokkaido has plenty of outfitters ready to get you going. Being from Boston, I compare Sapporo to Portland Maine,  where I frequently visit, both being cities in states with lots of sporting tradition and identity. What other conclusion can be drawn of a city where the shopping mall displays a mannequin in waders and fishing vest?
     Many people throughout the world are unaware of the sporting opportunities in Japan, or even their areas of vast wild lands. The Tohoku area, where this tragedy is taking place is one such area. And I guess that's why I'm writing this; because being half a world away, with different cultural perspectives, foods, and languages, we're not really all that different.

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