Five of us met, carefully masked, to walk the eastern section of the Kyoto Circuit Trail, from Fushimi Inari to Keage. With an end to the lockdown in sight more people were out, but the approach to Fushimi Shrine still quiet.
… Sparrow-meat stalls*
… closed by the Virus:
… sparrows celebrate (Tito)
Japanese visitors shared friendly, if slightly cautious, smiles as we walked through the shrine grounds.
… Vermilion-faced foreigners
… trooping down
… the wrong torii tunnel (Richard)
Climbing past myriad shrines, fox statues and altars to the gods, we wound our way over Mount Inari.
… Known to steal even
… the shrine’s lighted candles,
… crows in a spring wood (Tito)
At Sennyuji we passed through an area of many imperial tombs, including the grave of Komei. His son, the Emperor Meiji, penned the following:
Tsukinowa no misasagi mode suru sode ni matsu no furuha mo chiri kakari tsutsu
… Here at Ring of the Moon Cemetery
… I visit the ancestral tombs
… and onto my sleeves
… ancient pine needles
… are falling, falling*
For a while, we skirted the edge of the city before climbing onto the hills that rise above Kiyomizu Temple.
… treetop birds —
… even their laughter
… keeps a safe distance (David)
The day ended with a visit to Himukai Daijingu, the Sun-Facing Shrine, a source of holy water that once helped to ward off a ninth century plague.
… At the foot of Himukai Shrine–
… a white cockerel*
… clucking under my caresses (Richard)