Life in Daisen — Ilya Mironov

When I first received the news that the place I would be going to start my new life was Daisen City in Akita, I immediately went to search for information on the internet as I had never heard of this place and knew nearly nothing about Akita Prefecture except for Akita dogs. After thoroughly reading the Wikipedia article, my next destination was of course Google Images, and one of the first images that I found absolutely blew me away.

After quitting my previous job, I had a blank space of a few months before heading to Japan. This was still during the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic, and my country was taking strong measures to prevent the spread. This meant no going out if it isn't necessary, prohibition of gatherings, and a strict 8:00 PM curfew where anyone wandering around would be stopped by police and be required to pay a fine unless they had special written permission. I, as well as many others who lost their jobs due to the pandemic or were unable to find employment after graduating from university, were forced to stay at home for the majority of the day. During these strict restrictions, one of the few things that were allowed was going for short walks unaccompanied as long as social distance was maintained between residents. Going on a walk every day became my routine, and one of the only things I could look forward to every day during the distressful times of the pandemic. However, what became an excuse to get outside quickly became a way to reconnect with and gain a new appreciation for nature.

Needless to say, after seeing pictures of Daisen City's scenery, I was very excited to start my new life in a place which seemed like paradise for nature lovers.

I arrived in the middle of October, a time when some days are in the negatives in my home country, but to my surprise, the weather in Daisen was still suitable for leisurely walks. After finishing moving procedures, my first day off was dedicated to exploring the area in my closest vicinity. I did not have a car yet, but I was recommended Osazawa, a small park within 20 minutes walking distance from my apartment, and it became one of the first places I visited in Daisen City.

After exploring the area on foot for a few hours, I was able to get a grasp of the surrounding area and was once again reassured that the place I would be starting my new life is ideal for continuing my newfound interest in going on long walks. Not only on the next day off but nearly every weekend and holiday after that, I would spend one or two hours aimlessly walking around the town and still do to this day.

 Ilya Mironov

Life in Daisen