A splendid roadside lunch in shades of pink, eaten off the asphalt with chopsticks made of Yakushima cedar. I may be a bum, but I am a posh bum. For the next two and a half days, over a distance of some 100 kilometers, I would see no other store or restaurant, and my meals became simple affairs of crackers and coffee.
📷 Photo taken on December 9, 2015
There’s a majestic ginkgo tree at Ōsumi-Ōkawara Station, where I once slept on the evening of a late autumn day. Now, on a spring afternoon, I lay under its glowing green leaves for half an hour, drained and alone, then walked into the Ōkawara Gorge, where kids lit fires and hollered like the wild things they were, then I walked over a pass, along a tea field tucked into the forest, and the magnificent red and grey cone of Takachiho-no-mine rose a thousand meters above the forest into the evening sky.
In the gathering darkness I walked up the lower slopes of Kirishima, into a forest so quiet my grandmother remarked on the phone that she could hear me just as clearly as if I were in her sitting room, and when I shone my torch into the woods I realized I was followed by dozens of fluorescent green eyes, sika deer turned into forest spirits, watching a stranger in a land less strange by the day. On the opposite shore of Lake Miike, Takachiho-no-mine rose like a castle into the sky, and I picked my way around the lake through huge trees uprootes by this cold and wet spring.