Mountain of the Gods

Today the weather was beautiful and Yoshi had a rare day off, so I lobbied for Nature Time. We drove 15 or so kilometers from here, into Kamiyama, which the locals translate as God’s Mountain. (I prefer Mountain of the Gods.) Anyway, it’s not all that far away, but you have to travel twisty, narrow mountain roads without any guardrails in places. I’ve never been all that keen on driving up myself, though the mountains are lush with greenery and the air is fragrant with kimokusei. Also, I wanted to take Lilia to see the paintings of Hello Kitty that I’d heard about. See, there is an artist residency program in Kamiyama. Every year, three artists from Japan and abroad (this year’s participants are from France, Holland, and Tokyo) spend a couple of months on the mountain, creating art inspired by the environment. A couple of years ago, an artist from Malta created an installation out of sudachi, a small, green indigenous citrus fruit. Anyway, we found out that the former school which houses the art left behind by these artists was farther than we thought, but we were led to an Art Walk closer by. The path was on a mountain slope with lots of pine trees. It was lovely, but not wheelchair accessible, and Lilia is pretty darn heavy. We took a look at a mummy made of sticks and gave up on the rest of the walk. Jio said that the whole day was boring, except for when we stopped by the river and threw stones into the water for about half an hour. Lilia, on the other hand, drew the stick mummy in her picture diary. (And dang, if I didn’t bring my camera!)

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