The ever-present pounding of the Taiko drums is still resonating in my ears. No group has personified the idea of playing in unison better than the Kodo group.
If my enthusiasm for them is any indication, then it will magnify during their performance later this week.
Watching anybody pursue the perfection of their craft is inspiring, but to see fellow musicians chase the pinnacle of their style is borderline seductive.
There's just something so pure about working towards a creative endeavor. In a way, art has a great way of removing the context in life.
The sticky ruckus of circumstance is dissolved and enables the inner muse to freely move from your subconscious. The bouncing, flighty moments of inspiration can find a route to the outer world.
I've always been curious about how successful creators channel such sporadic, bright energy. You would think that there has to be some sort of discipline to bring out such energy.
Everybody's process is different, but I can't help but ponder how such artists channel their muse.
For the sake of the Kodo group, it's clear that discipline and consistency is their key to creative enlightenment. As for me, that ever-elusive process is one I've yet to refine.
Onto today's plans. Quite frankly, this is going to be a very simple day on the island. The big plan was to drive the famous Osado Skyline, mainly to add scenic photos to my album.
Before I can rip through the curved roads of the island, I'm going to do a check-up on the DZed.
The one thing that needed replacing was the air filter. After hundreds of miles and a dirty cargo trip with the ferry, the filter was ready to hit the trash.
Considering the maintenance interval of the bike and the length of the trip, I packed an extra filter. It's impossible to be overprepared, on this kind of trip.
Adventure riding brings out the best (or worst) of your abilities. Aside from being able to ride a motorbike these distances, it's so crucial to have supreme knowledge of your machine.
At any mile, something drastic could go wrong with your bike.
Being able to diagnose and fix any issue on your bike (in unsavory conditions) could mean the difference between riding home, of your own accord, or admitting defeat on a commercial flight.
I refuse to let the latter creep into my mind, so I was well aware of the DZed's history and many of its maintenance tasks ahead of time.
Fortunately, everything else looked good on this check. A bike like this is meant for Dual Sport and Adventure riding, so road-worn scuffs come with the territory.
With a few personal belongings strapped behind me, I shifted out of Ogi and merged onto the Skyline. The route itself is around 25 miles but is packed with several different views.
I began at the Kosado Mountain range, which is on the south side of the island. Swerving around the sharp inclines is an exercise in skill, in and of itself.
I seem to find myself shifting between 3rd and 4th gear on the majority of this route, as the numerous curves discourage any top speed attempts.
If anything, this route is a great handling exercise for the DZed.
Moving my weight around the bike, in these conditions, could test the flexibility of the steel chassis.
The DZed is actually constructed with a few different types of metals, as the sub-frame is built from aluminum.
In a perfect world, the combination provides the stability, flexibility, and reliability that could withstand the curb weight of myself and all of my belongings.
Up to this point, the DZed has aced that test. The big question today was how this bike could balance raw speed with smooth handling around these corners.
I'm happy to report that in general, the bike maneuvered the rocky terrain with ease.
The jetting didn't seem to be affected by the altitude change and the bike responded to every situation I threw at it.
The satisfying ride culminated with a stop at the viewing deck, near the top of the Skyline.
Views like the one I saw today are ones that you overlook and seem to take for granted. The murky aerial view distorts the rugged hills, blanketed with pine-colored shrubbery.
In the distance, you can see the Bay that brings in countless visitors like me. Sandwiched between that is a rolling plain, akin to my Prairie soil back home.
I would be curious to know the history of this island (and its formation) as it appears to have escaped any glacial or seismic activity.
Perhaps it's something I'll have to dig into tomorrow when I visit their history museum.
I proceeded to snap some photos from the viewing deck and made my way back to Rizumu's house.
The hidden beauty behind these photos is not just the layers of scenery, but how said landscape shaped this island's history.
I've been told that the island used to be a place for the Japanese government to send Exiles, which could be the genesis for how art, trade,
and culture on this island differed from the main island.
I'm sure to find out tomorrow, as the museum should be able to cross the proverbial T's to those questions. I'm finishing my night in the studio, as that has become part of the weekly routine.
I'm hoping what I saw today could be channeled into the studio monitors this evening.
Thanks and I'll see you soon!