日本 day7 | Mt. Shosha (書写) hiking almost made me into a mountainman

January 2
I was told that Himeji (姫路市) would be incomplete without a hike to the temple complex of Shoshazan Engyō-ji (書寫山圓教寺) atop Mt. Shosha (書写).  A bus ride and a ropeway got me up to the top of the mountain where a good chunk of The Last Samurai was shot.  Being there on the second day of the Japanese New Year / shōgatsu (正月) made for another cultural experience.

I made it up the mountain around 10 a.m. to photograph under the morning sun.  I watched as many families followed but to pay respects and spiritually prepare for the upcoming year.

I always like being in the mountains.  I just know I will end up living at the base of or amidst mountains.  The light was just wonderful, and the mood of the site was really positive.  There was a lot of smoke from some fires burning all day.  I heard monks singing prayers.  Gongs rang every five or ten minutes.  And, surprisingly, as a tourist, I did not feel that I was trespassing.  There is really something to say about a culture that does not convey any suspiciousness (if not show signs of welcome) on such an important holiday, especially when I am on spiritual ground.

There was more than just elevation beneath my feet, and so I thank you, Shosha.
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One thought on “日本 day7 | Mt. Shosha (書写) hiking almost made me into a mountainman

  1. I love these pictures. I didn’t even think about how great of an experience it was for you to go up Shoshazan on Oshogatsu. Thanks for sharing your photos and thanks for coming to Japan.

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