Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The people of Akakura Mountain

Another Monday, another fantastic day out in the sticks. At the top yesterday I met the Ghents from Itayanagi church. They happened to be at the summit when I turned up, and they had a big group of young folk with them enjoying the view.

On the way down I decided to take a few snaps of the religious figures that endure the weather up there twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year. Here's one of them, a female of some spiritual description:

She keeps that content and settled look on her face even when the snow comes down in sheets. Fair play. She stands right next to the mini shrine at the top:

Then there's this fella, who sit's tucked away behind tall grass:

I assume all of the statues up here are Shinto figures, though I wouldn't know for sure. I'm sure Bhudda has his men dotted about the place as well. This lady stands facing Hirosaki, never taking her eyes off us:

Yesterday I took a route less trodden on the way down. I cut off the ridge early and steeped my way down to Akakura river. It's a bit rough, and since the last time I took that route there have been a number of trees fallen. Rough, indeed, but very beautiful. At the bottom you come out onto the river, and the feeling of solitude gets more intense. Very few people take this route, though from now on it'll be my regular detour on good days.

From the river which runs out of the ravine, looking back up to Akakura dake:

What a day. Mountain days aren't always as beautiful as yesterday, but with a bit of luck this next month or two will bring some corkers. My favourite six weeks of the year start now.

And today, well, back to work again: