I went hiking in the mountains north of Kofu today. Now when Grape-bringer invited me to go on a hike I kind of assumed that the two of us would drive up into the mountains and, well, hike. She said we could go to an onsen afterwards…excellent thinks I. (Onsen: hot springs, naked batheing in hot-hot-hot water 🙂 still have yet to find anyone willing to shower with me at the tempratures I like)
Now when she called me to expain we had to be in Kofu at a set time I did wonder…well the Japanese way of hiking is for there to be an organised tour…a little different from what I’d imagined. Fifteen people hiking through the forest.
Now, when it comes to hiking, or indeed any form of movement (except swimming under particular circumstances) I am built for endurance. If I were a horse I’d be a Mustang (yeah saw Hidalgo the other day) Well I was walking with Thoroughbreds! We are in the forest; one, two, three, march. We are climbing the mountain track; one, two, three, march. And there was Grape-bringer saying, ‘This course is probably too easy for her, she climbed Mount Fuji’ (as the sweat pours from my forehead) Well then I tried to explain the concept of ‘just right’; it was a nice route, not that hard (unless done at speed!) and not as easy as to be a stroll in the park.
Thing is, when hiking I like to appreciate my surroundings, I like to pay attention to the leaves and the path and the valley that I am climbing the sides of. It was cool though, I got to see 33 Cannon…wayside shrines, and climb into a very holy cave complete with more Cannon.
I did a large section of my diss. on wayside shrines, I concentrated on Indian and northern Asian shrines rather than Japanese ones. I wish I had written my diss on mystical experience which artwork facilitates as opposed to a comparison of sensuality, sexuality and spirituality contained in art. Hmmmm a private essay beckons…