Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Japan 2015: Hakone Jinja

The sea was grey that day. Dark, but calm, the waves slowly rolled in and out, lapping their long tongues up onto the even more grey shore, stretching to reach the furthest grain of sand, then hungrily pulling it all back into the foamy current. Even though the sea was grey, the sun shone through the clouded sky, a white soft brightness in contrast with the water's flickering darkness. Today would not linger at the beach though. It would make its way up through the valley, to the top of the mountain. Climbing slowly as the trees hanging heavy with flowers became thicker and the forest more dense. It was so dense, it made the surrounding mountains appear completely rounded in shape from the tree tops that covered them. Their leaves glistened in the clouded light. It had just rained. You could smell the salty pungent air of the sea as it mixed with the smell only emitted from rain hitting the fresh earth. Climbing higher and higher, visibility shrinks into the fog. It no longer feels like day, but it certainly is not night. Slowly creeping forward, inch by inch at the rocky edge, high upon the mountain until suddenly the large red columns of the gate appear jutting out of another body of water, not the sea, it appeared as if the world existed atop a cloud. 

We just returned from Japan this past weekend. I had such an amazing time seeing all my friends and family there. Still pretty jet lagged as New York is on opposite time from Japan, but I couldnt wait to share some photos. I also got a new vintage film camera and am getting all the photos developed this week. 

One of my favorite parts of Japan is how old and beautiful the history and architecture are. Many shrines and castles are well over hundreds of years old, with the imperial court dating back over 2,000 years. My husband's family lives in Kanegawa, which holds some of the most beautiful places in the Tokyo region. One of those is the Shrine at Hakone or Hakone Jinja. It is located near the sea on the top of a mountain, at the edge of a huge lake. It was raining very hard on the day that we visited, but I think the warm summer rain made it even more beautiful, casting a mist across the lake and through the heavy forest of surrounding trees.