Showing posts with label mist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mist. Show all posts

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Misty Mountains of Kumano Kodo


Before moving to Japan I had lived many years in a desert environment, so one of the most different and dramatic landscapes I encountered in Japan was the mists and clouds clinging to the forested mountainsides.

This was the setting for my third day walking the Kumano Kodo in the first days of March. I left Hongu, deep in the mountains, and headed roughly West towards the coast along the Nakahechi route.

The most travelled of the various routes that make up the World Heritage Kumano Kodo routes, After a couple of hours I had still nt met anyone else, though it was early in the "season", and I was walking in the opposite direction to most.

I was actually walking the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, but for walkers at least, the route followed the same route as the Kumano Kodo for the first few days.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Along the Kumagawa Valley

After visiting Shinguuzenji Temple I headed east up the valley towards  the next  pilgrimage temple.

The mist and fog was still thick, but as the morning progressed it began to thin.

 After the sun came up the fog retreated into the middle of the valley and just hung over the river.

I visited about half a dozen small shrines along the road that ran pretty much at the base of the mointains.

The views were what I would describe as typical Japan..... though that may be because I spend so much time walking around ther back country and tend to avoid the highly populated areas.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Shinguuzenji the Southernmost Obaku Temple in Japan

On the fortieth day of my walk around Kyushu I woke at first light and brushed the thick coating of frost off my bag and quickly headed downhill to get my circulation going. There was a thick, freezing fog but I guessed it was still well before sunrise. I have no watch nor phone so am never sure of the clock-time.

After reaching the Kuma River Valley I turned  East and headed along the valley on the south side along the edge of the mountains where the traditional settlements were and are and usually where you find the shrines and temples. The next pilgrimage temple should be reachable before the end of the day.

I soon came to a Chinese-style gate and a large statue of Kannon so headed in to explore. There was no-one about as it was still too early.

This was Shinguuzenji Temple, founded in the early 15th century and later converted to the Obaku Zen sect. Obaku was the last of the Chinese zen sects to be imported and so still retained more Chinese style in architecture etc. Apparently, this is the southernmost Obaku Temple in Japan.

The Autumn colors muted by the mist were quite impressive.....

Friday, July 17, 2020

Beneath a Sea of Clouds with the Rice Paddy Gods

Unkai is a Japanese word that refers to a "Sea of Clouds". When the conditions are right, usually late Autumn/early Winter, Valleys fill up with mist during the night. When viewed from mountaintops above the level of the mist it appears to be like a sea. many Japanese seem shocked that such things occur in many parts of the world.

On the 38th day of my walk along the Kyushu Pilgrimage, I set off from Sogi Falls in the deep mist that filled the Sendai River valley. Once the sun rises the mist gradually thins and disperses.

As I headed upriver I passed a couple of small roadside shrines with statues of Tanokami, the god of rice paddies. Yesterday I passed a bunch of them but they were all fairly weathered, but today they had been painted.

I had been heading west, and by late morning the mist had disappeared. The river now veered sharply south and then later turned back north so it was easier to keep heading west  by cutting across the range of hills and dropping down back to the river near Ebino.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Down the Kitagawa

I started my 18th day along the Kyushu Pilgrimage just across the border into Miyazaki. I started to follow one of the branches of the Kitagawa River as it flowed downhill towards Nobeoka. Walking long distances in japan means either walking the coastline which is relatively flat, or following a river up to a pass and then down the other side...... the path of least climbing.

For much of the year mist clings to the mountainsides and fills river valleys, and today was no exception. There are probably dozens of Kitagawa Rivers in Japan..... the name simple means North River. Most family names in Japan are derived from locations, so Kitagawa is a fairly common family name..... the most famous that springs to my mind being Kitagawa Utamaro, the famous Edo Period artist.

As is the nature of rivers, as one descends the route becomes less steep, the river larger, and the valley wider.....

The mist was at times so thick the sun became white. By lunchtime I was down much closer to sea level, the mist had long since burned off, I pass where a larger branch of the river joined up, and traffic had increased.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 14


I had a request from Al over at TravelJapanlblog for more winter pics, so.....

The first one is from my favorite viewpoint over the Gonokawa about 1k upstream from my place. I've posted more pics from the same place.


All the rest are taken in the area immediately around my house, and they show a most common feature.... mist.....


I'm not a meteorologist, so I'm not sure exactly what the difference is between cloud, fog, and mist.


They do say that the tea grown here has a particularly fine taste due to the bushes being kissed by the river mist.