The work has slowed during Japanese Obon holiday. Quickly finished up the leftover work and headed south of Nara Pref for walking in green.
It was almost 4pm and there weren't that many tourists around. A few families & couples..., but I seemed to be the only one who came alone. But, beautiful scenery and oxy-air put a big smile on my face. :)
I visited Kimpusenji Temple & Yoshimizu Shrine (both World Heritages), and I was ready to head back.
As I was leaving Yoshino Shrine, an old man dressed in Shinto Priest clothes stopped me.
SP: "First time in Yoshino ? " ME: "Yes. :)"
Smiling big time 'cause I enjoyed the visit... but, he stared at my face and asked,
SP: "Are you....... happy ? "
ME: "What ?!? Ah..., Yes! :)"
SP: "Well...., if you say so..." "Listen, these hills will be painted all pink when the cherry blossom season comes. So, promise me you'll come back to see it, OK?"
He walked with me to the entry gate and started waving at me. I quickly vowed and started walking down the hill toward the main road. But, he was waving at me even harder and said in a loud voice...
SP: "IF YOU WANNA COME BACK BEFORE SPRING, THAT'S OK, TOO !!! JUST REMEMBER, YOU'RE ALWAYS WELCOME HERE !!! "
There are a lot of old old shrines & temples in Mt. Yoshino, and a lot of spiritual/praying tours take place around here. So, maybe.. this Shinto Priest may actually have seen people who wanted to throw away their lives. But, I think I looked too happy to do that, today...
Anyway, I thanked him for his sweetness and left the village. I should go back there soon even with a bigger smile... :)