This next entry is more for my own gratification than for easy viewing. You see, I am no photographer. I have no concept of proper composition and any of that, so when I am in a stunningly beautiful place with a camera, I tend to stand in one spot, and take a series of pictures in rotation, hoping to stitch them together in a panorama that is somehow closer to the true experience than one frame.
This never works.
Firstly, stitching photos together is no closer to being in the real place, and the end result just looks like…well…a bunch of photos stitched together. Secondly, the pictures are HUUUUUGE, and you can’t really view them in their entirety on screen. In this case, the thumbnails will probably be more interesting than the actual pictures. But, I still try my hardest. Some of them are pretty rough, others (like the bamboo forest) went together rather well.
Japan was so beautiful. It filled me up, and overflowed, and soaked into me until I was totally saturated, and then it overflowed again. Here are my flailing attempts to convey a little bit of that…
I may have mentioned this before, but Mt. Fuji is elusive. That sucker hides behind clouds like it’s his job, and more often than not, that’s where he’s hiding when you go to visit. Andrew wanted so badly to see Fuji at least once before his 3 year stay in Japan ended. When we arrived, it was cloudy and overcast, and Fuji showed no sign of coming out to play.
We were patient, though, and after an hour or two of sitting up on Mt. Kachikachi, Fuji decided that maybe he owed Andrew a “hello”, and he slowly, slooooooowly came out and let us see him.
This mountain…oh God….this. Mountain. Is. HUGE.
It’s like someone shoved a stick up under the ground, and the slope of the mountain keeps on going, and going, and just when you think you’ve spotted the end of it, you realize that you are still standing on its downward slope, even from far away. It was amazing.
Meanwhile, the forests around the base of Fuji have their own magic to offer. These are the forests I cited as being straight out of Princess Mononoke.
I think I mentioned last time about one of the middle-of-nowhere shrines we visited. The one with the shishi who had a wee baby. This was where we spotted it. There’s nothing around but rice paddies and mountains. The torii gate is the entrance, but the actual shrine is up in that spot of woods on the side of the mountain to the right.
Kanazawa, the city where Andrew lives, is home to like one of the top 3 botanical gardens in Japan. I am seethingly jealous that he has such a thing in his home (and since he’s a resident there, he gets into the gardens for free!)
So, of all the places I visited in Japan, what was my favorite? This place…this waterfall near Kanazawa. It was the closest I’ve ever been to being in a place that was not real, if that makes any sense at all. For Andrew, it was Fuji, but for me, it was this place that captured me. I sat on a rock and watched the river for at least an hour, unable to tear myself away. It was like watching a dragon.
Andrew said that when his brother visited last summer, they were able to swim in the river and jump off the rocks. When I was there, the water was much too frigid. I was so jealous I could cry.