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This is the archive for 23 September 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017

And so, today program is quite heavy.

  1. Visit Mitsue and its Jinja in the early morning

  2. Visit the Buddhist temple of Hase and the village born around it

  3. Visit the complex of the Oo-Miwa Jinja, or the set of Shinto Shrines at the foot of the Sacred Mount Miwa

  4. If possible, Climb mount Miwa.

So, I wake up early in the Hinotani resort, get my breakfast, have a fast visit in the onsen and check out by 9 am.

I dreamed of the trip between Misugi and Mitsue so many times while writing of it in my book... and here I am traveling this road. Here's how it felt:

I left the audio in, including the AM radio broadcast with the local interferences, to give you the full feeling of the trip.

I will add an entry to mention this place, as it struck me for several reasons, even if I staid for one night only.

First of all, I will mention the fact that, on 199 pounds for one night, the Hinotani resort it's the most expensive hotel that I have booked in this trip, and being a three stars, I was a bit suspicious about the worth of the place. OTOH, both an abundant dinner and a meal-class breakfast were included, and this brings the effective cost down to 150 pounds. Moreover, I absolutely needed a base near Ise but somewhat halfway to Nara. I could have staid in the Nara region, but this place was also part of my backup plan in case I couldn't visit Ise the first day, and this part of the plan worked perfectly.

After having visited the Ise Jingu, I head for Misugi, a very little village on the old road between Ise and Nara. This road was probably the most important route in the very early years of the Yamato "empire", before they conquered Izumo and in an epoch where they were still called Yamatai. Traveling this road was one of my dreams, and indeed is the central part of the novel I wrote.

Misugi is the last village before exiting the mountains if you came from the Yamato, or the first village where you could have prepared for the dangerous travel in the mountains of Uda if you came from Ise.

I arrive in the location at dusk, but this only adds to the beauty of the place. The sunset is terse, and wrap the high cedar forests from which this place takes its name (Misugi means "beautiful cedars"), in a soft golden light which warms my heart. I am sorry I couldn't stop to get any photo on the way, but I have this from when the morning after, from my room looking down on the main village.