Beautiful landscapes don't have owners

Beautiful landscapes don't have owners

In the middle of Tokyo, there is a mysterious but tangible forest. It is one of those landscapes that saturates your mind without warning. Shinto* deities have chosen to be there and have made this a place of veneration; a sanctuary in their honor. A presence seizes you as you pass the great torii*, a symbolic doorway to what is beyond us, a sacred space where the noise of time fades away. 

The first encounter is the majestic trees that border the soft monotony of the wide and powerful path. An invitation to the dream of abandoning oneself to destiny, of holding back no hope and feeling no regret. The ambition of a whole life suddenly comes back to penetrate the beautiful landscape. "The beautiful landscapes having no owners, says the poet*, each one can without constraint be comforted by contemplating them. Then the sanctuary, the jinja, a building made in wood with uncluttered style, emerges discreetly. It seeks to blend in with nature, to remind us of the myth of the origins according to which at the beginning man made the world with mother nature. At the entrance, a basin from which comes a stream of water that is poured onto your hands with a long bamboo ladle for a summary ablution. Before approaching the divine, you cleanse yourself from the impurities of daily life. On the large square a traditional wedding procession proceeds slowly, the bride powdered in white and enhanced by her masterly headdress, the family dressed in dark costumes for the occasion. We let the procession pass, an almost unreal vision, a dolly shot of separate but parallel lives.  I arrived at the door of the altar - it is my turn. I shake the heavy rope with bells. This ritual is supposed to awaken the attention of the gods. After throwing some coins into the offertory box, I clap my hands twice and join them in prayer. I close my eyes and go within myself, contemplating only about this moment without the fear of being disturbed. My spirit travels high, and a wave of energy flows through me and wakes me up to the infinity of life, where everything is possible. To bring into yourself those who you care, to protect them, to carry them. To realize the projects which excite us. The intensity of this moment has the charm of both the eternal and the ephemeral at the same time. It will remain with me for a long time, even after I return to the real world.

*shinto The first religion of Japan, animist polytheism, a set of cults of the agrarian, agricultural, nature and fertility type, intended to put man in harmony with his environment..

*torii Gate installed at the entrance of Shinto shrines, delimits the border between the profane world and the sacred. 

*The poet This is Kamo no Chomei, a quote from his work: Notes de ma cabane de moine (1204)

Recent Posts

Our Journal See all articles

Edo Beauty

It was in the kitchen that the first Japanese cosmetics were created by women's hands. From rice. A staple food, a nutritional treasure and a treasure of nature. In the Edo period, it was part of the skin care ritual.

today
perm_identity Florence Miette

Japon Intime

Rencontres inspirantes avec des personnalités japonaises qui nous dévoilent leur univers singulier de culture et de beauté, en corps et en âme.

today

Seeds Stories

Fascinating stories of seeds are told in the kitchens of Nijo Castle during Kyotographie, Kyoto's annual photography event. Stories of journeys across time and cultures.

today