Japan is in the middle of a long rainy season which usually lasts throughout June to July.
This year , it started much earlier in mid-May, so we have a longer rainy season.
I'm so thankful for being able to enjoy this relatively cool weather prior to the sizzling,
scorching high summer.
Those who are suffering in disasters by torrential rainfall are in my prayers and thoughts.
It was one day in June six years ago when I visited Gio-ji Temple deep in Sagano after an overnight rainfall.
The small temple could be the greenest place on this planet with thick moss, green maples,
and other surrounding trees.
Not only the temple but also the whole course to the temple is beautiful and soothing.
Sagano in Arashiyama district is a hilly area of western Kyoto.
There are many historic sites with great scenery in rich nature.
To enter Sagano, you walk on Togetsu-kyo Bridge which stretches across the Katsura River.
It was first built in the Heian period (794-1191).
After crossing the bridge, you're welcomed by the charming stone Buddhist statues.
Sagano Bamboo Forest is one of the most popular tourist destinations.
It is on the list of “100 soundscapes of Japan” for its distinct rustling sounds of the bamboo leaves.
Sunlight filters through the densely packed grove.
More details about bamboo, The beauty and strength of bamboo (2011)
A trail cuts through in the middle of the bamboos.
Walking through the area, in the bamboo forest, under the green tunnel, by the small brook
or a cozy tearoom when air feels heavy with lots of moisture,
you'd feel like soaking in dripping essence of the greenery.
After passing by many famous temples, I reached the Gio-ji Temple.
Tranquility and solitude in the moss garden (2015) is my post about the temple.
If Gio-ji is new to you, I really would like you to have a look at it to share how I felt like
that I was at the bottom of the sea where little light and sound reach.
(Similar but not the same photos with those in the 2015 post.)
Sagano has been relaxation spot for centuries and had lots of tourism in decades.
Ironically it seems to have restored the stillness due to the pandemic.
With 18 days left to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, all the preparations are underway, while Delta variant will peak in mid-to-late July. "Is the Olympics worth all the risks?" has been always in my mind. The IOC always showed the attitude "go ahead" even under the State of Emergency because Japan's level is just "ripples". Only the IOC can cancel the events by the contract.
The president of the JOC (Japanese Olympic Committee) has been standing strong to realize safe Olympics taking over the role in February this year. Though I've had mixed emotions like many other people, I wish successful events through each one's share of cooperation and patience. The preparation works must have been daunting in the constant changing COVID situation and the corresponding public opinions. We must not let our guard down carelessly.
I wish transparency and genuine spirit of the Olympics are restored in this extraordinary Games.
I root for all the athletes from the world.
I'm having summer break as usual. See you in September.
Linked to Mosaic Monday