Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kinpozan (the Mountain)

So today I took the two oldest to climb a mountain.  The Mrs. stayed home with the snotty little one (not his personality, he is just very mucusy [not to be mistaken with couscousy, a tendency to be a little dry and flavourless]).

So we three set off on a little winter adventure.  As we drove south grey clouds were skudding across the sky.  Trees bent and strained as I tried to keep the car on the road.  Perhaps I was too preoccupied with the weather as we missed our turn.  A pleasant gas station attendant was more than happy to point out the error in our ways.  "Way back there" would probably be the closest translation.  So after doubling back we found the right turn (it should have been a left) and started up the mountain.  One more double back later and we had reached the parking lot at the top.  Totally empty.  We walked up to the temple and passed this tree.
We call trees like this "mother trees".   It has never been overtly discussed but when hiking we are almost always on the lookout for Mother trees.  We really enjoy finding them.
The view from the top was really beautiful.  This is the sea of Japan side.  If you look way to the right that is where I do most of my fishing with the father in law. 
There were little shrines all over the place.  Some religious discussion but very muted.
This shrine had a big sign posted just before it.  The basic mythology is that a boy who loved fishing went out one day and drowned.  His mother climbed the mountain to pray for her son.  This cave was the place where she prayed.  Since that day, her tears have continued to drop from the roof of the cave. I wondered if they drop in during the dry season.  That is if there is a dry season.
Next we went to a cool lookout and managed to take a timed shot.  Yeah me, I got in the picture.  This is the Kinko wan bay side.  On a good day the crater of Sakurajima would be spewing ash from right between the kids heads. 

After much tramping around, we headed back down the mountain and went for noodles. 
Then as usual we found a cool park to play at before heading home.

Todays big win was bringing home some omiyage (treats from a trip) for mom.  It was a long adventure and there wasn't actually all that much hiking but we had fun.  Probably the last hike of 2010.  Hopefully 2011 will be full of adventure too.

Best wishes to all for an exciting, adventurous and fulfilling 2011.

Youii Otoshi wo Mukaete Kudasai.

1 comment:

Heathen Mike said...

I miss hiking in places like that. You and the family have a great 2011!