No One in Sight 2022.01.14
After the glory of the cherry blossom season in April, the next flower viewing season to look forward to is in May when these beautiful azaleas and rhododendrons are in bloom. Unfortunately, I had never known about this until I happened upon the information about Shiofune Kannon-Ji and saw the amazing photos showing the vivid flowers clustered together at this temple. I had been to Hitachi Seaside Park to view their May blossoms but never thought about looking for such majestic beauty in Tokyo and its neighbouring prefectures.
With great anticipation, we drove into a deserted, gravelled car park and looked around after we had exited the car. A brief moment later, we were being waved down by a local resident who told us we were parked in an area that was not for visitors and we should promptly move our vehicle to the paved and equally as deserted car park for temple visitors. I admit, standing out there in the lot with no other cars or people in sight, the sun scorching our heads and the pitched surface, I felt a bit sad. The effects of the coronavirus were so prevalent in that moment.
You would be surprised at the number of people that seem to be out and about during the day on weekdays. The work structures seem to be fluid here and when you would normally expect most of the population to be at work, instead you see them on the trains, at coffee shops and restaurants, at the mall, supermarkets and so on. A place like this one would be no different. People always seem to be enjoying a day out at peaceful places like these, soaking up the beauty of nature and sending sincere prayers to the Gods. No one else but us and a retired couple as the patrons for about three hours showed how drastically the coronavirus was impacting the country’s businesses and the economy.
We made our way slowly into the property glad for the shade under the thick trees and the cool breezes that were wafting through the heavily wooded area. We had not looked at the map. It was our day off after all, we were in no hurry and were very sure that the property was not that grand nor were we likely to get lost.
Our first stop was in a clearing which housed a few small, wooden structures.
I'm like a chihuahua. Small but fierce and full of energy. I'm generally a positive person and try to make the best of each day.