The Local Search for Ultimate Bliss

The Local Search for Ultimate Bliss

The best way to get to know a new place is to go exploring. Though our initial months in our new town were a flurry of activity while we settled in, the summer months offered plenty of time to relax and enjoy the amazing weather. One of our favorite things to do in New Town is walk, and walking around here offers plenty of beautiful sights.

My favorite place to walk is the waterside. While there are places for boats and businesses set up for lake-side dinners, there are also large stretches devoted to park land. If I lived downtown, I’d probably take my tablet out on sunny days and write in that park. But alas, I live on the other side of town. Still, there’s something special about walking up and down the waterfront. We see something different every time we go. Sometimes speed boats, sometimes planes taking off over the water. Our lake is such a beautiful shade of blue. Phenomenal.

(We live here.)

Our second favorite place to walk is a mountain on the edge of town. In fact, our favorite trail twists around the mountain offering a fantastic view of the lake and the city from above. There are some pretty spectacular houses on that mountain, but I’m not sure I’d want to live in one (winter would be a lot bigger pain if you had to drive up and down the side of a mountain). It’s a popular spot. People bring their dogs to run off-leash. And at the end of the trail is a beach for swimming on the good days (and cliff jumping if you happen to fancy that kind of thing).

(Have I mentioned that we live here?)

My favorite downtown spot is the Japanese garden, officially called Kasugai Gardens after our town’s sister city in Japan. The gardens were constructed as a symbol of friendship between our two cities. They were tended for a long time by Yukihisa (Roy) Tanaka, to whom there is now a memorial dedicated outside the garden’s gates.

(The path into the gardens during the spring)

Tranquil feels too tame a word for this place. Even on the hottest days, with the sun blazing in the sky, Kasugai gardens is a place of peace and rest. It is filled with the sound of trickling water from an artificial waterfall. In the center is a pond with koi, and we’ve seen a turtle or two around as well.

(The path into the gardens during the summer)

Walking through those gardens gives me great appreciation for the gardens in Japan and the peace and tranquility they are obviously designed to convey. It’s hard to leave feeling anything but relaxed. It’s another place I’d spend a lot of time writing, if I didn’t have to drive to get there.


Not far outside of town, we recently discovered a garden center which specializes in water plants. The owner has spent several years designing natural ponds on the property, and she allows guests and customers to tour them. There are some truly spectacular designs. Each of the ponds sports a different number of koi, some of them quite large. Some of the ponds are small and tightly enclosed while others are large, allowing the fish to move between different sections. Some have bridges, while others can only be viewed from one side. Interspersed between the ponds are smaller water features built using rocks and planters. It’s a real inspiration! I’d love to have the space for that kind of a pond someday, though I imagine they take a lot of work to maintain.


With summer well on its way to glory, it’s exciting to think about all the company we’re about to have and all the fantastic places we can share with them when they come to visit. What are your favorite local summer activities?

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