Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I was up walking at first light. Not sure of the time as I havent owned a watch in more than 20 years. In the shrine at Mitsu I found a small but interesting Kojin.
From here I headed inland, south towards Matsue. The road sign said 10 kilometers, but I would be following a zig zag route to visit small shrines up in the hills.
I stopped in at Sada Shrine, once the most important shrine in Izumo until Izumo Taisha took that role in the late heian period. This is the home of Izumo Kagura, believed by many to be the root of all the kagura in western Japan. Excavations in the area around the shrine have found the earliest traces of the Yayoi in this part of Japan.
By 7 the paddies were a hive of activity, with planting or preparations for planting underway. In my village because of the strange weather we are still a week or two away from planting. I also noticed someone unloading bamboo shoots from their bag. This year there are none in my area yet.
At an old temple, numbered 27 on one of the pilgrimage routes, I found this lovely wooden Jizo. Most Jizo are stone.
The morning got hotter as I approached the city. Lots of traffic and convenience stores.
I hit the shore of lake Shinji about 2k along from Matsue. The road around the lake was a non-stop line of traffic. This is Golden Week.
The first place I headed was the ashi-yu ( foot bath) outside of the Ichibata railway terminal. My feet appreciated the soak in the hot water. Ashiyu can be found in many onsen areas, and I imagine they are from the time when most people in Japan travelled as I have been, on foot.
It was noon, 24 hours exactly since I started my walk. I had visited 16 shrines, a couple of which that were not marked on the map. Now its time to sit down and find out about what I have seen.