Monday, 13 July 2015

Bijinkais and Mt. Mitoku

Two of my best friends
We had one of our last bijinkais on Friday and Kiysues husband joined the four of us this time. As usual we met at Mama’s again, because literally everything there costs 300¥, and it is delicious. It was a ton of fun, and as usual left me feeling natsukashi for the people in my life here. It is hard to imagine that in a few weeks everything will be a distant memory, with thousands of miles and an ocean in between us. It is really hard to wonder when, or if, I will see some of these folks again. Kiyosue, Yamashita and I are pretty tight, so I am really hopeful that the two of them will end up in Vancouver as they have been talking about now for a few months. It would be amazing!!
The next day Sarah, Meru and I decided to hike up Mt. Mitoku. I decided to hike up for two reasons. The first being to check out the 1300 year old Buddhist temple built into the almost vertical rock face. The second was to clear my head. Leaving Japan has become a difficult task. It involves a lot of emotional interactions and conversations, a lot of money and more stress than is preferable. So I woke up on Saturday and despite the chance of rain I hopped on a train bound for Kurayoshi. After a soft cream stop we taxied over to the base of the mountain, and we made it just in time for the last group of hikers to be admitted up. The hike is kind of grueling and also dangerous, as a few hikers die each year on the route. The guides checked our footwear twice for tread, and if you fail that inspection you are forced to wear their traditional sandals to go up. Sarah, Meru and I all passed the inspection and headed up. I am a runner so cardio is fine for me, but the vertical incline we were heading up and the rocky bottom below frightened me almost immediately. Luckily Sarah and Meru encouraged me to continue and I am so glad I did. This hike was probably one of the most breathtaking sights I have experienced in Tottori.
To imagine that the well word rocks have been grappled with for over a 1000 years, but tourists, locals and Buddhist monks. By the time we made it to the temple we were muddy and exhausted, but the exhilaration of realizing we had reached such an incredible piece of history made it well worth it. I would say it is a must climb for anyone in the area. The views were gorgeous and it was an amazing feeling to experience that kind of history.
1300 years later

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