2008 June 21 Saturday and June 22 Sunday.

This is the time of the year when the SUN rises early, and sets late in the Northern Hemisphere.

Hokkaido is not the northernmost place that I have ever lived.

In fact, Seattle Washington USA is farther north than Asahikawa, but it rains so much there, you might not even notice the extended daylight hours if you have lived near Seattle all your life.

No, the farthest north I have ever lived was, KODIAK ALASKA.

That place is much, much father north than any place in Japan.

I lived in Kodiak for 2 and one half years, so I was able to experience the Summer Solstice from that location, two times.

In Kodiak Alaska during this time of the year, the sun sets at about midnight, and then rises again at about 03:00 hours.

In other words, the sky never gets completely dark.

As a result, there are many outdoor activities such as; drunken softball games, volleyball games, and the like.

On the other hand, during the Winter Solstice, Kodiak is very, very dark all day long.

Rather depressing when considering the fact that there is not much to do there during the winter season.

No natural hot springs to ease the pain.

Hokkaido is much, much better when it comes to human comforts.

In all seasons. When I lived in Alaska from 1978 until 1980, I met many people who told me that Alaska was the best place to live on this earth.

For a while I almost believed them, but with all things considered, I decided that it was not true for me.

For one thing, everything in Alaska is so big, that it is difficult to feel as if you have an intimate relationship with nature.

Every city, town or village, is so far away from every other city, town or village, that you really need an airplane to get around.

A long time ago, someone told me that, there are more small airplanes in Alaska than there are passenger cars.

From my experience, that sounds about right to me.

When I lived in Kodiak Alaska, I was a member of the United States Coast Guard working as an Aviation Electronics Technician (AT3) and flying around in HC-130 airplanes as a radioman/navigator.

As such, I visited almost every major airfield that there is in Alaska.

In other words, I have seen almost all of Alaska from the air.

It is HUGE, and mostly UGLY.

The most beautiful part of Alaska is the SouthEastern part around Juneau and Sitka, which shares a national border with Canada.

In that part of Alaska, there are lots of really big and tall trees, and even a few natural hot springs.

The rest of the state is rather barren with nothing of real interest to see for the common tourist. However, I do understand the feelings of most residents of Alaska, when they say that it is the best place in the USA to live, if you want to get away from crowded cities.

That is true to the extreme.

If you really want to live where there is absolutely nothing at all, Alaska would be a good choice.

I prefer an island called Hokkaido where you can visit the 5th largest city in Japan (Sapporo) and yet, get away to any other place on this island, on the beach at the sea or in the mountains, where there is absolutely nobody else around, for as far as you can see.
I have found my true spiritual home. HOKKAIDO.

How about you? Home is where the HEART is.

And at times, a good home must be relocated.

To a place where THE PATH is clearly visible.