Translator: Sarah McNally
From Canada, Sarah has been in Japan for almost 5 years. If you are interested in a Japanese to English translation, please feel free to contact her at

Sarah. 来日五年目のカナダ人。日本の高校では英語の教師して教壇に立つ一 方、日本語検定一級の資格も活かし翻訳も行う。問い合わせは上記アドレスへ。

After Word: Day 4
Graveyards have a sacred atmosphere, on top of which they often stir up many complicated emotions as we enter. In my case however, when I go for a walk in the Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo or take a stroll about Shinnyodo temple in Kyoto, where my ancestors are buried, I don't feel any inherent aversion to the graveyard itself.

Of course, depending on the time and place there are many things which we should refrain from doing, and one must be able to distinguish what these are, but I don't think there is any reason to avoid graveyards all together.

The cemetery where Bolan rests also serves as a park. When this institution was established, it was built with the idea in mind that a cemetery should be a public space that blends into the local area.

I've often heard that when people visit cemeteries they become humble. Although this is subject to debate, I feel that we are visiting our predecessors who are actually resting peacefully, so I don't think they'll mind if our hearts aren't so heavy.

If you can, try to visit without getting too emotional, maintain manners appropriate to a public place, and try to learn about the natural features of the area and the local environment.

Here you'll find some personal notes I took during my trip.
I didn't really write this to be read by others, but you can take a look if you like. This is about what happened in London during the week or so I was there.
*Diary written between September and October of 2000

    London Diary: Day 4 - A Moment at Golders Green

    Yesterday I visited the accident site, and today my main objective is a visit to Marc's final resting place.
    Before heading off, I realized that there was a mistake in the ticket I had bought the day before (or so I thought), so I went to Euston station. In reality the ticket was valid for a full month from September 30th, but before I figured that out, I had thought it was good for just one day. That was embarrassing…but anyways, since the ticket was ok and my business at Euston station was settled, I headed for the grave site.

    Bolan's grave was situated in a very quiet and beautiful location, about a 10 minute walk from the Golders Green tube station. Here's a picture, take a look and I think you'll understand. I was nearly moved to tears.

    At the time I visited, between September and October, the trees were full of fruit, and I could help myself to small apples.

    Very near Bolan's resting place, his parents, who passed away in 1991, also rest in peace.

    Golders Green is a beautiful place, you'll have to see it yourself to know just how beautiful. Whether you're a Bolan fan or not, if you're in London and have a chance I think you should go and take a look. On the way to the cemetery there were many apple trees with small apples falling under them and there were also countless other kinds of tree laden with fruit. There were squirrels here and there and numerous species of bird that I'd never seen before. Although Japan has many remarkable places, there isn't anywhere quite like that, is there?

    It's about 15 minutes by train from central London, and on the way there is nature in plenty and the roses bloom in profusion. Anyone, man or woman, young or old, who comes here will be impressed, no mistake about it. I plan to make another visit on October 2nd, so if there is anyone in London on that day let's go together. (Although I suppose it's a little late to be inviting people…)

    Golders Green Crematorium
    Within the magnificent grounds, there are buildings that give the cemetery park a tranquil atmosphere, and there are quiet trees that seem to give peace to the departed while also helping to make visitors feel relaxed.

    Bolan lies beneath this rose bush. It was a little out of season, so the roses weren't in full bloom.

    After spending over an hour at Bolan's grave and walking about the cemetery, I headed for Soho.
    As I wrote on the T.Rex mailing list the other day, I was hoping to find a certain shop that sold Bolan t-shirts. I wandered about the outskirts of Soho but didn't run into it. Giving up, I decided to have a late lunch in Chinatown. It was affordable and tasty, and I felt that I had gotten quite a good deal. It was much better than McDonald's food and more filling, and on top of all that it was cheap, so I decided to eat in Chinatown from now on. Oh, but wait! I won't be here for much longer!

    Following lunch in Chinatown, I went for a walk about the area. I decided that I should also try to buy some souvenirs, and while looking for something good I happened upon a shoe shop. I can't remember the name of the street for the life of me, but the prices at this shop were more than 50% lower than those of other shops, and much much lower than those in Japan. Telling myself that the shoes I had brought with me were starting to get a little shabby from all the days of walking, I made an impulse buy.

    After making my purchase, I went to HMV and Virgin Megastore but there were no good Bolan related items or CDs. It seems that there's better CD selection in Japan than England.
    Regarding clothing, prices were undoubtedly lower in England, except at places like the high fashion brand stores on Old Bond Street, which were incredibly expensive. There were also Cadillacs and Rolls Royces lined up bumper to bumper in front of these stores, and all the customers looked like famous stars or members of royalty. Just what you'd expect to see in Britain!

    Soon the characteristic London evening set in, and by chance I happened to pass thorough the Green Park tube station. Although this was close to Hyde Park, which would have been the perfect place for a walk, I was hungry and would also have to get up early the next morning, so I quickly returned to the hotel. It was the middle of the evening rush hour, and the tube was very crowded.

    At first, the Underground had been unpleasantly troublesome and difficult to understand, but by the fourth day I was getting accustomed to everything, and the tube was starting to become as familiar to me as the Tokyo subways are.

    When I got back to the hotel, looking in the change pocket of my wallet I noticed some 100 yen and 10 yen coins. I'd seen nothing but English coins for the past four days, so I'd forgotten all about Japanese coins. (No joke!).

    England is certainly a great country, but for a bloke from Japan like me, as expected, Japan will always be best.

    That being said, the view from train windows in England is far more beautiful than that in Japan, and once you've accustomed yourself to the transportation system, England is certainly more convenient. If you can just get used to the bus and the train, you really can go anywhere quite freely.

    In addition, wherever you go in England, the streets are about a hundred times brighter than those in Omotesando, and everything is beautiful and there are wonderful cafes. The people walking on the sidewalks are plain but fashionable. There is unique atmosphere of simplicity and fashion blended together, and the colour of perfume.

    Well, it's time to go to sleep now. Tomorrow I've got to get up before 6. I plan to write my next report on October 3rd.