Living in Japan, I see so many people looking down at their cell phones. In the train, in the park, in the restaurant, even while walking. Their world has been reduced to a glowing LCD screen in their hands. They aren’t living in reality.
What people need to do, especially while walking, is to look around. Reconnect with their environment. Writers can definitely benefit from this. They need to observe and take mental notes about places and things they see.
Something I like doing is going for a walk by myself to just look around. Sometimes take pictures. It clears my mind, and I often get ideas from what I see. Sometimes I don’t think about that at all, just enjoy the atmosphere and scenery. This picture is what I took while starting to write this post.
It’s a train station in Machida, Tokyo. I go through it every week. But I often go on autopilot and don’t notice everything. I like to snap myself out of that.
Are you one of those people with their eyes glued to a cell phone screen? Or do you observe your surroundings?
I live in the world’s largest metropolitan area, the Greater Tokyo area with a population of around 36 million people. I’m near the southwestern part of it, but nearly everything around me city. There are farms not far from here, but they’re crisscrossed by roads, houses here and there, and never far from a convenience store. Last week, I went hiking in Kamakura. Occasionally, I saw houses and buildings from high up on the hiking trail, but I felt more secluded than I’d felt in a very long time. I know a part of the trail (that we didn’t go on) that is completely closed off from the rest of the city. No sounds, no sign of civilisation. It’s in a forested valley with a small stream and absolutely peaceful. Kind of like this viral video.
Nice, huh? I want to go to the real countryside and go walking in a real forest that’s actually not surrounded by a great metropolis. And there, I want to walk around, look at the trees, listen to the sounds of the birds, and have a nice relaxing time. That’s where I want to be right now.
Where do you want to be?