Susan's sketchbook log: Japan


 Nachi FallsNachi, Naturally

Nachi Waterfall is the tallest in Japan, and the home of a kami (god) honored in the nearby Shinto shrine. Slogged up the 400 steps in the rain to get there. It would have been worth 800! The Shrine is a World Heritage Sacred Site and has a sacred cherry tree -- which was lovely despite having lost, the high priest of the Shrine said, most of its blossoms in the soaking rain of yesterday. He looked sort of like HH the Dalai Lama and seemed very kind and said that Shinto is about "gratitude to nature." That made me smile.

I was certainly grateful to have spent a beautiful day, traveling mostly through the Yoshino-Kumano National Park and its rivers and forests of cedar trees - some of which can give the giant sequoias a run for their money.

Cherry orchard en route to Katsugari
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