Showing posts with label unkai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label unkai. Show all posts

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.