Stairway to Buddhahood ~ The Beauty of Japan

Well, not quite. But who knows!

I did this with my phone, a vertical panorama. I think doing vertical panoramas is how you do those weird 3d-ish photos on Facebook. But I'm not curious enough to upload this there to see what happens.

This area I stumbled onto is evidently part of Kabutoyama Forest. I only know that because there is a signboard nearby, but only one so I don't know much more.

I know the temple and shrine mentioned—they are a ways away from this place, so this "forest" must be a large area. Presumably it refers to a forest that used to be here, because there isn't much now. I would have liked to see the Jōmon remains mentioned, but there was no sign showing where that was. I know a site with Jōmon remains in this city, but that's clear on the other side of town so this sign is probably referring to a different one.

The Jōmon Period (縄文時代) is a rather large era from 14000–3000 BC. I've seen that 10000 starting point as the sign shows, but I think it's been enlarged by historians recently due to new finds. The name Jōmon comes from the style of pottery made at this time, generally considered to be among the oldest pottery in the world. It's generally thought the pottery was introduced from China. The period is subdivided into several sub-periods, since 11,000 years is quite a while.

Anyway, I'll do another post tomorrow about the Jōmon people. I started to write it here, but this is a photo post, not a history one; let's stay on topic!

After I took that shot, I walked by this house. That door's seen better days. Abandoned houses are quite common in Japan, but this one showed signs of life so I didn't explore too much. I just took the photo and moved on.

And here is the route I took, up to adventure! (spoiler: it was just a normal neighborhood up there) The stairs here seem to have been ill-planned. Look at the ramp for pushing up bicycles: It's set too deep at the bottom, then where the path narrows there is a step before the ramp resumes. Then again, I can't imagine many people pushing their bicycles up this way, so it probably doesn't matter.

Here are all the photos in monochrome form. I dig all of them more in monochrome. How about you?

Hi there! David LaSpina is an American photographer and translator lost in Japan, trying to capture the beauty of this country one photo at a time and searching for the perfect haiku.

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    I am looking forward for the post about Jomon people!