My final Kyoto post takes place in Shimogama Shrine, the shrine between the fork of Kyoto’s two rivers. I had actually taken these on the same day as Arashiyama, but forgot to post them lol. I am after all a
n00b beginner at blogging.
Anyways, despite spending an entire day in Arashiyama, I still had the energy to walk around some more. Only in Japan will I feel safe walking around a park at night lol.
I say safe, but I swear to god, shortly after I passed through the torii, I started feeling uneasy. It started as that subtle slight unease that usually happens when walking alone in deserted places at night, which I although I had never really felt in Japan (until this point), it would be a somewhat regular feeling in quiet, somewhat shifty suburban Sydney.
However as I ventured further into the shrine, the tension grew stronger. I had the sudden thought that I was being watched, and once this thought took place, slowly, silently it grew until I seriously felt uncomfortable. I’m usually quite skeptical, so what was this feeling, so sudden and new? ((but unlike Glinda and Elphaba, it was loathing))
Perhaps entering the temple at night counted as trespassing? But we were only in the outer area. ((This photo was taken through a gap in the gates))
I asked my friend if she felt somewhat strange, and it turns out she did. It was as if Tamayori-hime & Kamo Taketsunomi (the spirits and gods this shrine was built for) were telling us to stop disturbing them at night and just GTFO.
Now I usually don’t get scared easily. Nor am I particularly superstitious. But this was a shared experience. Or a shared delusion. Maybe we were both mad.
So we hastily snapped a few more photos and left as quickly as we could.
And I swear to god, once we left the shrine and were well on our way out of the park, a sense of relaxed relief washed over.
In a way, it was a vaguely Spirited Away-esque experience. Walking in, immediately something seemed ‘off’; a feeling that crescendo’d sharply as we ventured through and observed details. Leaving was like the final scene in Spirited Away, when Chihiro walks through the tunnel back to normality, back to the tangible real world.
Logically though, we were both just fatigued and started imagining things.
Anyway this entry was more abnormal than usual but it is the last of my Kyoto/Osaka posts~ I still have quite a few, more exciting I think, adventures in Tokyo to recollect so stay tuned ~~~