Himuro Shrine

DSC_1549

Out of nowhere an unassuming stone gate appeared at the top of a mountain road. It was only upon exiting my truck that I noticed a rough stone staircase rising into the morning mist. The damp stone stairs were treacherous, but I pressed on with the slowly building feeling that I was on to something.

DSC_0116

I suddenly noticed a more elaborate gate in the distance. I cannot stress enough that the stairs are not to be taken lightly. The morning mist can make them slick, and their rough condition adds to the potential danger to even the most seasoned hiker.

DSC_0054

Eventually, I arrived at a small, but attractive shrine after about 500 steps. What struck me at first was the age and size of the majestic cedars beside the shrine. These trees are obviously hundreds of years old.

DSC_1643

I kept walking to the rear of the shrine and noticed a tree that had a protective barrier surrounding it.  The sign says the tree is over 1200 years old! This tree has been standing in this very spot since before any Japanese had ever drunk a cup of tea, before Italy had it first bank, and for almost the entire 800 year history of Al Andalus (Islamic Spain). I can only guess at the tree’s diameter, but its base was at least as big as my truck. I was speechless in the presence of this sacred living treasure.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s