Spent the afternoon with Masutani-san, Dorogawa’s 83-year old former mountain guide, historical expert, yamabushi (mountain ascetic religion), conch player par excellence, and gas station head honcho. We talked of history and the future, of gods and buddhas, of legends and realities…and he took me on an off road adventure into the forest to a secret waterfall and a hidden trail I’ve been searching out for a long time. Best day. Best place. Best people. Best onsen. ❤️🌲♨️ (at 洞川温泉)

Spent the afternoon with Masutani-san, Dorogawa’s 83-year old former mountain guide, historical expert, yamabushi (mountain ascetic religion), conch player par excellence, and gas station head honcho. We talked of history and the future, of gods and buddhas, of legends and realities…and he took me on an off road adventure into the forest to a secret waterfall and a hidden trail I’ve been searching out for a long time. Best day. Best place. Best people. Best onsen. ❤️🌲♨️ (at 洞川温泉)

Ascended to Aonegamine 青根ヶ峯, the water divide of the Kii mountains 紀伊山地, by foot today from Yoshino. Reached the old stone marker barring women from trekking further. On the way, saw two kind old ladies, three mountain ascetics (who drove to Kinpu jinja 金峯神社, put on traditional attire, chanted at the shrine, then drove back down), one construction worker en route to fix phone lines, three white tailed deer, 18 lizards, countless ants and other crawly things, and heard the sounds of birds chirping, fresh spring water flowing, and chainsaws felling trees. Overwhelmed by the beauty of this place, grateful for my mind and body to persevere up a pretty wicked incline, and above all concerned for the preservation of sacred spaces like this in the face of ever encroaching modernity. 🗻🙏🗻 #yoshino #mountains #吉野山#金峰山#青根ヶ峯 (at 青根ケ峰)

Ascended to Aonegamine 青根ヶ峯, the water divide of the Kii mountains 紀伊山地, by foot today from Yoshino. Reached the old stone marker barring women from trekking further. On the way, saw two kind old ladies, three mountain ascetics (who drove to Kinpu jinja 金峯神社, put on traditional attire, chanted at the shrine, then drove back down), one construction worker en route to fix phone lines, three white tailed deer, 18 lizards, countless ants and other crawly things, and heard the sounds of birds chirping, fresh spring water flowing, and chainsaws felling trees. Overwhelmed by the beauty of this place, grateful for my mind and body to persevere up a pretty wicked incline, and above all concerned for the preservation of sacred spaces like this in the face of ever encroaching modernity. 🗻🙏🗻 #yoshino #mountains #吉野山#金峰山#青根ヶ峯 (at 青根ケ峰)