Hiking 233 meters over 4 hours in 90 degree and 90% humidity to brew tea on the top of an ancient Shinto shrine? This is extreme ChaXi.
The Fushimi shrine is made up of more than 30,000 tori gates, and the path up the mountain winds its way past thousands of smaller sub shrines.
We hiked the main path to the top, and then followed a small mountain trail to a little known satellite shrine.
The forest was dense surrounding the summit path; the rustling of the wind and rattle of the kodama as they followed us to the chaxi place was a soundscape of life. It matched the oppressive heat and humidity. It magnifying the feeling of the ethereal.
We made the chaxi on the top step of a shrine that matched the greater landscape, symbolizing the mountains that stretched out around us in the distance. The reflections of the moss and shimmering of the leaves cast a green hue to the light. The tea rejuvenated us – it brought a coolness to the air and a feeling of energy to our tired feet.
The kodama and I enjoyed the tea. They bid me farewell and I began my decent back into the bustling city of Kyoto.