Stone Picking by the Sea in Ishikawa: Wavy Tsubo Stones, Part 1 | Memories 120 |

Finished stone picking with TADA on the 14th and headed home, or so I thought. While organizing the photos, I remembered that wasn’t the case. I was to stay at a hotel in Fukui and meet a man named CHARISM ANDO at Fukui Station the next day.

The next morning, November 15, 2022, I received a message from ANDO. He said that the train he planned to take wasn’t running for some reason. He mentioned taking a highway bus instead, but in the end, I don’t remember if he arrived by bus or a delayed train, but he did manage to arrive safely at Fukui Station.

Who is this mysterious man, CHARISM ANDO? Our first meeting was at work. He joined the design office where I work, and where designer E, who often appears in this diary, also works. We once went stone picking in Fukui on a company trip. Even before that, ANDO joined as a copywriter in the same cohort. He’s about five years older than me and is quite an enigmatic character.

Why CHARISM? Back in university, ANDO formed a team called CHARISM with two friends. Their activity involved traveling around Japan on granny bikes. In the first summer, they headed north; in the second year, they went south, and later they even crossed China. What kind of activity is that? Moreover, they weren’t just riding but kept daily journals, each member writing their own, which they compiled into a book and sold at a cultural festival.

Incidentally, ANDO has no interest in stones at all. However, his travels and journaling resonate with me somehow. He constantly says he doesn’t want to work, preferring the life of a traveler, which seems to suit him perfectly. Yet, he’s still just one person who needs to work to make a living and participate in society. Unfortunately, there aren’t many jobs in today’s world that suit him. He initially took a sales job right out of college, quit, and then joined the design office where I work as an aspiring copywriter. However, due to his somewhat boorish personality, he couldn’t fully adapt to the company culture, leading to repeated issues and ultimately having to leave.

In fact, there was another reason.

We decided to meet at Fukui Station and have lunch. As we drove the rental car, we looked for a place serving Fukui specialties. We found a reasonably well-reviewed restaurant that seemed like an established soba shop, so we decided to go there.

Since I had been stone picking with TADA extensively in Fukui, the specialty oroshi soba didn’t excite me. It was just an ordinary lunch, as usual. ANDO, however, was happily slurping his soba. His eating manners were quite messy, typical of his somewhat boorish nature. He was also drinking an extraordinary amount of tea. The restaurant staff had to replace the pot. Gulp, gulp, gulp.

He was drinking a large amount of water even during the car ride here. What kind of competition is this?

This excessive water consumption was another reason he was let go from the company. He would deplete the office water cooler by gallons. Water, water, water. What’s going on? I had tentatively diagnosed ANDO with water addiction.

After eating the oroshi soba, we enjoyed soba-yu (hot water in which the soba was boiled) and yokan (sweet bean jelly). Delicious.

ANDO continued to gulp down tea voraciously. Before the restaurant ran out of tea, we decided to leave.

We started driving again, and when I told ANDO about the plan for stone picking, he suddenly said he didn’t want to go today. This was not what we had discussed. He wanted to sightsee around Fukui since we were already there. I understood that, but not doing any stone picking at all was unacceptable on my trip.

ANDO was the driver today, so he held the reins. In the distance, we saw creatures from the Cretaceous period. Ah…

Ah… So, we’re going to the Dinosaur Museum.

Hello!

Roarrrrrr!

Why must we see dinosaurs? I am a stone person sent by the Stone God. There is no time for idling around in a place like this. Let’s go.

Roarrrrrr!

Hey, what about my stone diary? Instead of stones, it’s all about dinosaur fossils. And look at the size of this dinosaur. It must be a replica anyway. If not, sorry.

CHARISM ANDO never listens. That’s the third reason for his expulsion from the company. Well, not that he doesn’t listen, he can’t. No, he doesn’t understand. After leaving the company where I work, ANDO will work for a company in Tokyo, where he will be in sales. Sales. I didn’t think it suited him. He’s too brash in a bad way. He can’t handle delicate work. I should mention his character is wonderful in a way, and he can actually be considerate. In that sense, he’s much more socially adaptable than I am, and his heart is pure. But for some reason, that doesn’t come across because of how rough he is. And he depletes water.

!!!!!

Stones suddenly appeared. They were spinning around like conveyor belt sushi. What a surprise stone.

ANDO showed no interest in the stones, only in replica dinosaur bones.

ANDO was also expelled from the company in Tokyo because of his excessive consumption of water by the gallon.

He returned to Nagoya and started working at a mysterious advertising agency. Despite thinking he would be a copywriter, he ended up in sales again. Stop it. It’s not suitable for you. Besides being brash, he probably isn’t suited for computers either. Desk work isn’t his thing. In a time before computers, he excelled at sales, where it was all about the clash of souls, making deals face-to-face, wining and dining clients. Jobs somehow found their way to him because he was an amiable guy. If only he had taken a different path in sales in an alternate reality, it might have been better. He’s someone who should just hit the road and things will somehow work out even without money. That’s the only premonition about ANDO.

Until now, I had never entered the Dinosaur Museum in Fukui. It’s TADA’s hometown, and both of us are solely focused on stone picking, so it was never an option.

Even when Sara Bread K and 384 came to visit, stone picking always took priority, so we never made it here. The Dinosaur Museum is located inland, far from the coastal stone picking spots. Looking back now, I realize I had been forcing stone picking on both of them quite a bit. I guess I’m the real villain here. ANDO is just enjoying Fukui as usual. Still, I had no idea there were so many stones at the Dinosaur Museum.

The world’s largest amazonite. I don’t really understand. Despite picking up stones, I don’t appreciate their greatness. I’ve been picking up and arranging stones for about ten years now, but my knowledge of stones hasn’t changed at all between the first year and the tenth year. Can that really happen? Yes, it can. People call this laziness.

Fluffy, fluffy, fluffy,
What is this stone?

Great. If I found such a stone, I’d probably cry. I’m okay with finishing stone picking here.

We leave the Dinosaur Museum and start driving. I thought about going stone picking, but realistically, there’s not enough time. By coming to the Dinosaur Museum, we’ve essentially skipped over the stone spots in Fukui. If we were to go somewhere after this, it would be Ishikawa for stone picking. However, we don’t have enough time to go to Ishikawa’s stone spots.

End. Stone picking for today is over. Until next time.

Is it okay for things to be like this, ANDO? Please say something, ANDO.

ANDO continues to ignore. What a guy. In the end, after this journey, ANDO will also be expelled from the mysterious advertising agency. The reason will be water.

Kanazawa oden. Before I knew it, I had arrived in Ishikawa.
Chomp, chomp, chomp.

ANDO is eagerly drinking beer. He’s quite a fast drinker.
Slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp.

The closing ramen.
Finally, we ended the day without picking up any stones.

ANDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The next morning.
November 16, 2022.

Time is passing quickly. I couldn’t stop trembling because I haven’t picked up a single stone in Fukui and Ishikawa. Wait, over there… I can see the sea…

Windbreak forest. It’s the sea. It’s the sea. ANDO. He’s driving again today. ANDO drove here, and I’ll drive to the hotel later. I’ve done it again. Once again, I’ve lost control.

The sea, it’s the sea after all. What’s this, is he going to incorporate stone picking properly? Well done, ANDO.

We arrived at the mysterious facility with a rocket.

Boom.

Why, why… It’s just too much. My precious free stones are being trampled upon.

However, I had been underestimating this museum, dismissing it as just another meaningless public facility. But it seems I was wrong. According to the following:

In the Space Science Exhibition Hall, visitors can get up close to various space equipment, including spacecraft developed by the United States and the former Soviet Union.

This exhibition hall showcases various spacecraft that played crucial roles in human space exploration history, such as Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering spaceflight and the Apollo missions’ moon landings. From the entrance to the exit, the exhibition is designed to provide a retrospective of humanity’s space exploration history.

The biggest feature is the display of “authentic” items. Genuine space equipment from abroad is rare in Japan, and Cosmo Isle Hakui is the only facility that displays such a large number of authentic items. Many visitors are surprised by the presence of such valuable items on the Noto Peninsula, often asking, “Why are such precious items here?” This facility is highly regarded by space enthusiasts as a “hidden gem among hidden gems.”

Regarding the exhibition method, instead of the traditional display style of Japanese science museums, it follows a format closer to that of American museums, with cooperation from the Smithsonian Institution. The exhibition features dim lighting resembling space and clever design elements, such as the hanging MOLNIYA communications satellite, to enhance the aesthetics of the exhibits.

At first, I thought it would be full of replicas like the Dinosaur Museum (there are real ones too, sorry). But for some reason, there is a row of real spacecraft lined up here in Ishikawa. What on earth is going on? How did they collect them?

However, it’s so unrelated to stones. I wonder if anyone is still reading this diary up to this point. Surely, they must have dropped off during the part about ANDO.

Ah… I wonder when I’ll be able to go stone picking again.

But then I think, because Earth is a rocky planet, I can go stone picking here.

Stones, they originally came from space, didn’t they?

There are stones in Saturn’s rings too, aren’t there?

Ah…

UFO!?

Suddenly it’s getting suspicious. Yes, this museum, the first half is based on real spacecraft and historical facts, but the second half suddenly unfolds a worldview reminiscent of occultism, like a monthly Mu magazine. I immediately feel chilled and leave the facility.

It wasn’t like that at all. In fact, I quite enjoyed it.

I’ve heard there are various types like saucer-shaped and cigar-shaped. Mu.

Do extraterrestrials or UFOs really visit Earth? I don’t think so. Even if they did, why would they deliberately make themselves known? If they’re visiting Earth, there must be an enormous gap in civilization compared to Earth, so I don’t think they would do anything that would be discovered by humans. But maybe they’re doing it on purpose.

To travel to another galaxy, you’d need to invent warp technology, give up being organic beings, or spend an almost infinite amount of time in cryogenic sleep. Is such a thing possible? If it is, then to us, they’d be like gods. It’s hard to see why such beings would bother to get involved with Earth.

Stones from beyond Earth. Not moon rocks. I’m sure of it. I have no memory of it, but once again, I encounter stones. I haven’t even been to the sea yet, but I’ve encountered stones two days in a row.

Before I knew it, I found myself being drawn into this mysterious facility. ANDO has already seen everything and is waiting for me. It seems that after this, we’re planning to go to the stone picking spot I pinned on Google.

ANDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Well done, ANDO, but because of me, we far exceeded the planned 30-minute visit, and it has already been about 2 hours.

For some reason, the mysterious facility is recreated with LEGO blocks. Why, why… Why does this facility only display things I like? I need to get out of here quickly.

Why are there figures from the movie Alien here? It’s kind of different from the others, isn’t it?

ET. And what’s that figure on the left? I’m not sure. Please, stop… What’s holding onto my leg…

Finally, I managed to get ANDO’s attention and successfully escaped from the dangerous facility.


Stone picking trip|Ishikawa prefecture coast

Suddenly, the sea.
ANDO did his best. But there were no stones. This is the Senrihama Nagisa Driveway. A tourist spot.
Even though there were no stones, I felt happy to be by the sea and got out of the car. Furthermore, I kept attacking the shore, hoping for a miraculous stone to appear. Then, I got hit by a wave unexpectedly. I was careless. Sea water and sand infiltrated my Gore-Tex boots from the top, before I could even start stone picking. My feet became soaked in the pebbly beach.

Heading further north, towards the desired coastline, I couldn’t help feeling nervous due to the cloudy weather and the dwindling time. However, I knew deep down that it was all my fault.

Despite all the complaints I made, it turns out that ANDO had actually planned everything. He arranged a perfect itinerary: sightseeing in moderation, deepening my knowledge of stones at the museum where there were also stones, and then preparing a golden plan for stone picking. To all the companies out there, why would you expel him? Even if a little water disappears, isn’t it okay?

The view is great… but somehow, I feel like the sun is starting to set. Is it just my imagination, or does it really feel like it’s happening? I drove the car faster and faster, and finally, we’re getting closer to the first beach.

The sea. We made it.

Stones, found.
Ah, Stone God. ANDO. Thank you. This moment is the greatest joy.

Let’s take a break from the diary for now.


Stones picked up from the sea|Ishikawa Prefecture coast

→Various stones I have picked up so far

The stone-picking adventure with Charismatic ANDO is far from over.

→ Read from the first stone diary
You can choose a stone diary from / at the bottom of the menu on the right side of this site.

→A photographic work by ISHINOHITO.
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