The approach to the Orihime Shrine in Ashikaga, which is built in the middle of the mountain, is a steep stone staircase with 229 steps, which is a bit difficult for people who don't usually exercise. While many people were slowly climbing the steep stairs step by step, there was a young man running up the stairs in a single bound.
It seemed that a high school nearby was using the approach to the shrine as a training ground. As I stood on the top of the stone stairs, looking out at the view of the Watarase River, a steady stream of high school students came up the stairs. The high school students didn't come up the stone stairs to worship, so after a short pause at the top, they continued down the stairs. They keep running up the stone stairs. It's a tough menu.
Just running up the stone stairs was amazing, but the high school students greeted me, a complete stranger, every time we passed each other. It's a little comforting. Yet I've heard that in some parts of the country, people are willing to talk to strangers. It is said that when suspicious people are approached, they think they are being watched, which helps prevent crime. For this reason, high school students and others who see someone who is clearly not a local will actively talk to them.
They think I'm a suspicious person. I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted, but at the same time, I was a little depressed that I was also considered suspicious. It was hard to get back to normal when I saw the high school students talking to everyone they passed.
|Oct 2021 PEOPLE TOCHIGI|
|ASHIKAGA BACK SHOT RUN SCHOOL BOY SHRINE STAIRWAY TORII|
October 15, 2021
November 10, 2021
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF