Monday, October 30, 2006

The mountain resembles a woman of an almost translucent grace and beauty

Well, those were Osamu Dazai's words in his book on the Tsugaru peninsula, and the mountain, of course, is Iwaki. He writes of old legends which state that where the mountain can be seen at it's most beautiful throughout Tsugaru, namely the towns and villiages of the central Tsugaru plain, the women of those towns and villiages also possess great beauty. This doesn't say much for the girls who live in places like Ajigasawa and Fukaura, since Dazai writes that "Seen from the coast, the mountain looks totally worthless - in tatters, no longer even the shadow of a beautiful woman". Well, I'm sure that if you've ever spent a day at the beach in Ajigasawa during the summer you'll sternly disagree with both Dazai and the old bit of folklore.

Anyway, I had a great day up on the ridge today and here are some shots that leave no doubt as to the beauty of the mountain.

The leaves around the shrine are at their peak, but most of the trees above 600m are already bare. It's my favourite time of year right now, and even though I had quite a bad cold today I felt a lot healthier being up there in the fresh air.

The Tsugaru plain, where all the beautiful girls live, apparently.

I got to the peak at about 3.30pm today, which is cutting it fine for this time of year. There was a bit of mist running over the top which didn't do my cold any good at all.

I've pictured this rock before in black and white. It reminds me of a face; staring out to the west coast.

There certainly was an air of translucent grace and beauty as I fumbled my way over the rocks heading back down. Lucky I took my head-lamp with me because by the time I was at he woods it was damn near pitch black with all the trees blocking what light there was from above. I got down after a while though, but I really crapped it going through the last stretch of forest at this time of year and at dusk. That's when the chance of coming across a bear is supposed to be at it's greatest.

Mum, this one's for you. My new hat: