Yokohama's Lovely Baba Brook
Sometimes you start the day with a shrug! Ostentatious landmark buildings perched on banks of fast flowing traffics may seem unexciting and almost colorless. A desire to go somewhere which will be only yours when you are there. Walking in ordinary streets that are not bathed in history. Gazing at buildings even if not lavishly gilded. Regular sights which do not cast a reflection on some voluptuously curved bay water. You might want to try to see contemporary neighborhoods which reflect Japanese lifestyle.
Baba Brook is a cryptic stream which crisscrosses a low-rise residential area in Tsurumi-ku. Walking along the Baba Brook manifests a rarely seen side of Japan. It represents a fraction of original Japanese everyday life. The tranquil creek begins at a point where a Koban is located and it ends in a laidback cistern near which a ubiquitous Daiso pops up. The picturesque path stretching between the brook and the tree line offers some gentle scent of tatami seeping from the Japanese houses. The stream is frequently forded by small wood bridges.
Japanese children are usually there either to fish for Zarigani (Crayfish) or to catch Pokemons. Ecstatic boys and girls patiently wait to lure hiding Zariganis out of their hiding places. At first, it may not look very adventurous to a passerby. However, it is packed with fun. Buying a coil of nylon line and some lure at the nearby Daiso store is strongly recommended for those who would like to experience something quintessentially Japanese. The fishing gear from Daiso should cost no more than two dollars. Most of the fishers release the Zarigani back to the brook without hurting them.
Crayfish existence in Baba Brook is a clear evidence of clean water. Its abundance attracts water birds such as ducks and snowy egrets. It is obvious that peaceful dwellers never scare the birds. They do not fly away even when you kneel down to take a photo in a three feet distance. You might want to keep your camera on to catch the rare moment of a snowy egret harpooning fish out of the brook.
Also remember to bring a piece of bread or snack for insatiable Sakana (fish). It is fun to photograph them as they put their large mouths out to the surface for swallowing what you serve. The brook and its inhabitants are highly revered by the locals. They abstain from dropping litter and hunting fish or bird. It is impossible not to admire Japanese discipline and respect.
The brook is about 1500 m in length. There are local tempura, teriyaki and sushi restaurants nearby. Those who would like to eat western style food might try one of the two famiresu (family restaurants): Johnathan or Saizerya. Saizerya Restaurant is on the second floor of Across Plaza next to Daiso and Kiccho Pachinko down the brook.
There are two ways to go to Baba Brook. Take Rinko Bus number 01 or 41, get off at Hoizon Mae bus stop from the Tsurumi Station. Alternatively, bus number 01 and 41 links the Kikuna Station to Baba Brook.