Sunday, February 27, 2005


Headed north today into the falling snow, looking for the apparently famous pond we’ve never seen that is said to be prominently up the road apiece, it’s on all the maps, right there. Or right here, depending on which map you look at. If you use this tour map, for example, the renowned pond is right in this general area here: longitude, latitude, you name it, you can’t miss it if you take this road, a slight left and you’ll be in the pond.

But I was puzzled, because I’ve been driving that very road for 10 years now and I haven’t seen a pond there, maybe it’s only there on Tuesdays or something, or could be there’s another reality plane involved: that can get tricky. Whereas if you look at the big billboard map posted in the famous shrine along the way - which map appears to be of the local area but who knows for sure, it may be more of a spirit map - the pond is approximately right about there on that side roughly (for some reason, shrines do not feel the need to be precise, I suppose since we’re all here for such a brief span anyway), by the mountains between the railroad tracks and the road, it even says, right there, in large black characters on top of the blue pond-shape: Otomegaike pond.

But as I say (I keep saying this) I’ve been driving this very road for 10 years now and I haven’t seen a pond anywhere near there, though I can’t say for sure whether I’ve ever driven the road on a Tuesday…

So anyway this being Sunday we took a chance and went to find the pond but the pond still wasn’t there - its renowned bridge wasn’t there either - in the process we wandered a bit before hitting one of the local hot springs and found a nice old restaurant with great food and then a very nice old hidden-away local shrine, the precincts unvisited and perfectly still but for the rattle of corn snow snowing on the tall bamboo with snow already in its green hair -- inside the shrine precincts was a superb rock garden climbing up the mountainside, with pond and waterfalls and tall stone lanterns capped with their own clouds of snow.

As to the curious incident of the pond in the daytime, the pond has been seen, there is evidence, there is an alleged photograph of it, which I’ll post herebeside, that I found together with other interesting scenes in the vicinity, if you care to take a look at some scenic places of still doubtful existence as far as I’m concerned…

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