Parade, Pilgrimage, Passage: Walking on Water From Rijeka to Aomori

Pilgrimage: Mt. Osore and the Crater Lake: Windmills at the gateway to the underworld


The buses, Gunhild said, are always off-schedule. But this meant you came early and met others wondering and waiting. The buses that took us all to Mt. Osore were the tourist wonder buses of Japan: big, comfy, adjustable seats, with huge windows for the views of the coastline, and the small towns. Our big buses, like Totoro’s cat bus, curve, smoothly along tiny roads, looping past old volcanic rocky terrain now smothered in green forests. At some point we learn that you have to have permission to visit Mt. Osore and its environments from May to September, but after that, because of the deep snow, no one enters even the forested area before the mountain. The temples, residence, and the whole area of sacred grounds, statues, rocks, and offerings are left alone, shut off and cut off from the world. No humans stay behind. Only a few stay near where the road is plowed.

We have a beautiful day of high gray clouds, some sun, soft silver lake waters, coolness.

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