I love the early hours of Sunday morning …
… especially on a day so perfect as last Sunday, with nobody in the streets and the sun rising into the cold air above the trees of Otori Taishya. I looked over the balcony of my apartment and decided to go for a walk.
Grabbing my camera and quickly checking if the battery was charged up, I went out the front door. Everything was so quiet. It seemed like the whole building was asleep. I strolled along the road, blinded by the brightness of the morning sun on this crystal clear day.
There weren’t too many people out in the streets, only the occasional power walker or dog owner. Otori Taishya is famous for the variety of trees that surround it, I can’t remember exactly how many different species there are, but I remember reading that it was over 100.
I ambled down the old stone path, worn smooth over the centuries, and now glistening in the dawn light, remembering how busy it was here just a few weeks ago during Shogatsu, when this very lane was full of people jostling to get to the shrine or crowding round one of the many matsuri game and food stalls.
Parts of the shrine are very old, but most of it was rebuilt during the last century after a fire destroyed many of the wooden buildings. Today, visitors bring their little babies here for O-miyamairi, or their kids for shichi-go-san, people even bring their new cars to be blessed by the priest and his stick. However, there was nobody here at this time of the morning except for a handful of people praying and a few of the priests and their assistants getting ready for the day ahead. I marveled at the greenery and the age of some of the trees and I passed on through the shrine and out the rear gate, heading for home and some breakfast.