across the frozen water fall
4/1/06 3 °C
as everybody knows, in japan, last nite eve is not an event to celebrate with wild parties, night clubs, dancing and drinking untill next mornig..not at all.
This year, i decided to spend the "night" in another way, standing to the japanese traditions.
My boyfriend and I, left Nagoya (city where we live) to go to sky.
Now, Japanese mountains are not beautiful as the eurpean alps or the italian dolomites, but there is a sense of magic tha climbs the air....
We went through the high way for 100Ks, then heading towards Nagano prefecture and start to climb the frozen road up to the sky.
On the way to Ontake-san ("san" is used to design "mountain"), mountains are characterized by inscrpited votive stones standing on the sides of the road, all over the way to the Great Temple of the Waterfall. Japanese philosophy of life, Shinto, said that everything is nature, that all of us wll be back to nature after the death and, for this reason, Nature represents the world of gods (well knows as "kami"). Mountains, rivers, lake, bushes,all these elemests, are populeted by spirits, that people use to pray for, give offers to, go to pilgrimage from far away since long long time! That`s the reason why natural spot, even the simplier ones, are somehow pointed by a religious sign that can be a small temple,a simple altar with money cases for offers or just a "mon", the big gates at the entrances of religious places.
by the way, especially this area, is particulary known as more ..."spiritual" then others. Here is one of the biggest pilgrimage way to the Waterfall temple. The pilgrimage can be walked every time of the year, but doing it on winter seems to have more spiritual effect on the soul:the temperature is, usually, around -10 and once reached the Waterfall, the devote has to get change with a light cotton white t\shirt and just with that, has to climb the massive water fall to take some of the iced water, and pray. This has been done since few centuries and people keep doing it!
I skiped the "undressing" and i visited the Waterfall totally dressed up with boots, gloves and wool cap...sorry guys.
The sky resort was in the middle of the "road" an at nite, especially last nite eve, when me and my boyfriend were "patying", i really didn`t feel confortable..,maybe it was nothing but, the wind through the trees, the old building with its smell, the old sisters which owened the hotel...well didn`t make us feeling confortable!
any way, i spend the most exciting and spiritual last nite eve of my life!
even because in the morning, i had A GREAT SKY DAY!