Today’s glorious weather was deserving of a stroll, and so I decided to take the 10km round trip down to lake Touya’s North bank. Whilst the sunshine ensured that sunglasses were a necessity, the recent drop in temperature meant that I also needed to wear what Mrs. Sasaki refers to as my bear-hat, the combination of which resulted in pure satirical elegance. As I was about half way down the road to the lakeside I noticed (very perceptively) that a very loud klaxon was being sounded somewhere in the local vicinity. As I was within a few km of an active volcano it is fair to say that I fell into something of a stupor, but seeing as it stopped after a couple of minutes I continued on my way, figuring that it was either a drill or a very rapid apocalypse.
Turns out it was a fire engine, or rather several fire engines, all racing towards the local high school. I quickly followed suit, and can happily report that no one seemed to have been injured, nor any property damaged, in fact try as I might I couldn’t actually see a single flame, or outlet of smoke. I tried to investigate further, but was put off by women in the road who kept waving at me. As she was wearing a high visibility vest AND a hat, I took this to mean that she was there in an official capacity, and not just as a useful prop to welcome Gaijin to the local educational establishment. I thus beat a hasty retreat, and merely observed from afar, as the Japanese fire brigade did a splendid job of dousing a building, which may or may not have been on fire, with large volumes of water. Hurrah!