Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Explorer Claire

I had smoke coming out of my ears, my brain was overheating with the preparations for my courses tomorrow, so I decided to have a change of pace and go for a walk with Claire.

Much to my disappointment over the weekend, the famous Yokohama Sankeien park with its old Kyoto style buildings, arching bridges over ponds and pagodas is banned to dogs, so today I decided to take some pics of Claire at Santonodai, the Jomon era wattle and daub roofed huts dug circular in the ground. We walked over, only to be advised that dogs were not allowed in the park, but if I tied her up at the gate I could go in...I know it's fun, I've been many times with guests and the kids virtually grew up playing around there...but not without my darling dog, oh no!

So we decided to carry on home using a circular route, until we got to the elementary school.  And then I took a left up some steps, rather than going back on down the hill, and realized I was going places I had never been before!

First we came out at on the crest or a hill with a fantastic view over the sea and the port, which I'll take some time with a decent camera. As we walked on down the hill there were nooks and crannies with hidden vistas of Japan: two separate statues of OJizosan, who stands along paths all over Japan giving solace and support. 大地が全ての命を育む力を蔵するように、苦悩の人々をその無限の大慈悲の心で包み込み、救う所から名付けられたとされる。一般的には「子供の守り神」として信じられており、よく子供が喜ぶお菓子が供えられている。
And then further down the hill a tiny shinto shrine, pretty dilapidated but ever so quaint, and evidently still much in use by the locals judging by the pink plastic dustpan stored at its foot. I'm getting a shot of the Spirited Away-style bathhouse another time, today Claire was lost in the shadow as i snapped, and then my cellphone ran out of batteries...
All in all I was pleasantly surprised by our walk, having been under the misguided impression I knew our area inside out- relieved to have Claire's reassuring company discovering new paths, and grateful for the incentive to explore.

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