Thursday, December 19, 2019

A meizanologist's diary (36)

10 November: in the space of two short weeks, we’ve seen mountains as symbols, mountains for pilgrims, mountains as larders, and even the mountain as a mysterious table centerpiece. Now it’s time to go home. The bus drives a Chinese tour group and your correspondent to an airport hotel somewhere off the northern end of Narita’s runways.

On this rainy night, we can’t see what happened to this once bucolic landscape of fields, woods and bamboo groves. We arrive at a glass-faced monolith sited next to an expressway’s entry gate. After checking in at a counter of marble and brass, I ask the efficient young clerk if there’s a convenience store within walking distance. No, he says, you can’t walk anywhere from here. Soto wa yama desu ne. Out there, it’s a mountain …

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