I wonder which town is my hometown, because I have moved nine times and I am living in my tenth house. I was born in Kyoto. I grew up in Amagasaki in Hyogo Prefecture, Takatuki, and Ibaraki in Osaka Prefecture. Where I spent the longest period of my life is Kamakura City. And yet it is only 13 years.
They say that they long to come back to their own hometown some day, or in other towns they have some trouble to live. But I don't feel in that way. In my heart Kamakura has come to be my hometown. Here I have many wonderful friends, the green nature is comparatively conserved in this city, and yet it is located not so far away from big cities like Yokohama or Tokyo.
The natural environment is very important for me; that is, I can't stand without a view with mountains. Once our family looked for a house in Sagamihara because of my husband's transfer. We went there in order to take a look at a certain house. Standing on the street, we looked around but couldn't see the mountain skyline. The city was very flat, and it seemed to me to be very dry and empty like a desert. Then I found out I couldn't live in the flat place without green. All the places I have lived had a view with mountains.
On the other hand I need city life, too. I like art, music, shopping. I want to go to the museum, the concert, department store, good restaurants, and other cultural scenes. Traffic convenience is also important. In this sense Ofuna is in the very good location.
The most essential things are friends. I am very lucky here to have many wonderful friends like you. Every one of you has your own special personality and hobby. I am always stimulated to make efforts to share your wonderful way of thinking and living. Sometimes you give me useful advice, comfort, and lessons. Most of all, I feel very happy when we can spend our time with the common pleasure. 14 or 15 years ago I couldn't have a talk about art or space fantasy. If I suggested going to the museum, I was looked at as if I was a foreigner or a monster. I felt so sad and felt alienated (left out in the cold). Here we can tell one another what we want to, and we can hear many attractive topics from others. It's the most desirable situation.
If the place where all I want exist is my hometown, I say Kamakura is my hometown. If one more thing is to be requested, I want my old friends to be near by. Recently I have found out the fact that the older we get, the more we want old memories. When I was young, I barely looked back at the past or called back old memories. But I have come to notice that pleasant reminiscences make me fly back to my bright younger days and give me back young spirit a little bit. So it is necessary to meet old friends sometimes.
A certain poet said that the hometown is to be longed for from far away. Maybe the ideal one doesn't really exist, except only in mind, only in old memories. For me Kamakura is the one nearest to my ideal hometown so far.