Another balcony, Hakodate Public Hall

September 4th, 2013, 11am

It was 22°C with few clouds. The breeze was light.

Boyd and Takao usually lead the way when we venture outside our comfort zone (from Tokyo down the along the bay and around the Miura peninsula).

This time we were on our own, and our first afternoon/evening in Hakodate found us shambling through the streets trying to reconcile the Google map on our iPhones with the tourist map that listed the must-see attractions.

Those first few hours can’t be called a failure. We found the oldest concrete phone pole in Japan (surrounded by a small crowd).

The next morning we spread out our maps and notes on a massive reclaimed-lumber table upstairs in the waterfront Starbucks. We assembled three lists: (a) Must See; (b) Might See; (c) Don’t Worry It’s Okay If We Skip This.

Tip top on the first list: the Public Hall. Built in 1909 it sits on a hill above the port and looks like New Orleans by way of San Francisco. The balconies offered sweeping views of the port but my attention shifted to the details in the cornice.

And then I saw the Japanese roof.

And then I waited for a raven to fly past.

I’ve grown fond of the ubiquity of both.

Cassie and David Wade said thanks.

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John Pull

builder, mentor, maker, traveler

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