The Place We Once Called Home – Ohkuchi-machi


The flight to Komatsu was a bumpy one. A real scary one! Other airlines would have postponed such a flight; but maybe it is a common thing here. A small commuter plane run by a local airline (IBEX) using a small jetliner CRJ700- Canadian Regional Jet. The plane must be a tough one to be able to go through such a strong turbulence. Anyway, my heart dropped several times during the 1-hour flight from Tokyo to Komatsu which is located on the west coast of japan. Amid fiery thunder storm, we arrived just a few minutes late. Down here the storm left a wet and quiet day going into the breezy night. The day in Komatsu was about to end and as always there is no night life in this part of Japan.

Tadaimak! I’m back! It was here that I left the town after a year sabbatical at JAIST. The road back to the place we were staying seems so familiar. I drove through this traffic countless times making every single stop and turn a nostalgic milestone. We stopped at one of our favorite shops- 2nd street- only to be greeted by a familiar face at the counter. I knew this guy and he is still running this place. I grabbed a pair of shoes and left. The night was still early but Okuchi-machi was dead already. We lived here for the most of my time in Japan. Just could not wait to meet the neighbors tomorrow. It was summer so Fajr was early at 3;30 am. By 5 am the sun was already high in the sky. The place was revealed by the late summer sunshine—it was refreshing as ever. Listening to Khai Bahar on youtube, I walked through the morning mist. Khai bahar was still on smule when I was here, and his voice always accompanied me on my way home in the evening. That day I listened to him once again to relive the beautiful moments of my time in Japan. It’s a short 10-min walk from JAIST (where I spent the night) to Okuchi-machi, and, that morning was the most nostalgic walk I’ve ever taken. I wish for the first time the distance was longer. As if I wanted to count every single flower along the road and greeted every single farmer tending the gardens. We went to Tanganuchi house and met Tanganuchi-san, nice old man living next door to the house we used to live. He was surprised of course but greeted us gladly nevertheless. The wife wasn’t there. She was the one who made us feel so welcome here despite the language that we hardly understand.

We made our way to another house. On the way, I saw this familiar face and once he recognized me he jumped up and down and ran to find the door. Like a little kid who has not seen his father for a long time. I was overwhelmed—this is the type of people that is truly pure and honest in a relationship. Despite so little English, and us with minimum Japanese, we managed to communicate and developed a special relationship. His name is Motosa-san (aged 64 years old) and heads the community in Okuchi-machi. We greeted each other without words to describe our excitement only smiles and continuous bows from him to show his gratefulness of our presence. He led us to his house and met his lovely wife. She was surprised of course; we exchanged  greetings and good wishes. The wife speaks English very well. That would complete my visit in Japan. Meeting these people and knowing they are still up and about would  end my holiday with a beautiful memory. Actually, reignited the past memories of our experience living in Japan. Hmmmm…let’s book a flight for next year…Hahahaha!

It has been over a year since I left JAIST …….DSC_1553

A road leading to Ohkuchi machi …


The sign that I always violated huhuhu ……


Friends (old and new) that I met after the Friday prayers….



They have a new shuttle bus now …..


where we found our lost keys…


The shuttle that  run from Jaist to Tsurugi…now big and spacious



Revisited my favorite spot in the library…DSC_1565

No one was around….as always.DSC_1566


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