Autumn (Tokyo Studio)

Rittou: Earth begins to freeze/ buckwheat kernels form (1 of 5)

November 14th, 2008

Rittou 6 of 15The Shinkansen Hikari 407 took us away from Shinagawa along the Tōkaido towards Western Japan. Not long after passing Shin-Yokohama we were granted full views of Fuji-san. Precisely 2 hours and 34 minutes later (as advertised), we were in Kyoto.

Not ones particularly for the temples, we decided to follow the Lake Biwa aqueduct to see where that would lead us. It led us to stumble across a path up a hill along the Higashiyama. As with most walks, the urge to find out what’s around the corner drove us on. We soon found ourselves in the midst of a forest with evergreen plants, mosses, and ferns. The path transversed numerous protruding tree roots that served as steps. As we climbed higher, sunlight began to filter through the top canopy. There was not a soul around.

Soon the sun was getting low in the sky and with no map of this track, concerns about finding a way down and plentiful evidence that wild boar were about, persuaded us to descend. We found a steep track (that seemed also to be a water course in wetter times) and followed it cautiously. Very soon we reached a landing where a large recess with ‘retaining wall’ made up of rocks and tree roots. This recess housed a number of small shrines. Motohashi-san (friend of Ota-san) searches for patterns in the landscapes where Kami-sama (Shinto gods/ spirits) would find interesting. I think Kami-sama would approve of this place in the forest.

2 Responses to “Rittou: Earth begins to freeze/ buckwheat kernels form (1 of 5)”

  1. 1 Silvia Kwon
    December 12th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    On all you travels, was it difficult for you to find such solitude?

  2. 2 jolaw
    December 15th, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Most people have the image of Tokyo as a dense, hyper, hi-tech metropolis (as one of the world’s biggest cities this is not an unreasonable expectation). Relief from the city is surprisingly ready to find – the Shinjuku Gyoen is magnificent and Yoyogi Park is always amusing. And of course a hour train journey from Shinjuku will take to the mountains of Western Tokyo.

    This forest walk in Kyoto though was quite special as it was probably the only time that there was not a soul within a 1km radius of us – apart from the spirits of the forest and Kami-sama, of course.