re-tracing steps

I returned to Bunkyo-ku to re-trace the experience I’d had with Keiji Ashizawa a few nights before.

Along the entry steps to Yanaka Cemetery was a large wall covered in fluorescent green moss.
The cemetery was calm and reserved as it had been with Keiji.
It was cool under the trees.

Along the small street leading down from Yanaka Cemetery there were many makers, stonemasons and traditional gardeners. I found a small workshop; the only hint on the street a role of leather in the doorway and a foot mould resting on a chair.

They were making leather shoes out the back.
Sonomitsu: ‘Making Shoes is my Life…’ the store.

The makers directed me to the store just three or four doors down called Sonomitsu. They hand-make an elegant range of shoes inspired from a bygone era.

Further down the street and round the corner I returned to Bousingot’s Kengo and Saeko Haketa  and enjoyed some more excellent reading and espresso.

Kengo has a special interest in books evident in the range stocked at Bousingot.
They are very kind, interesting and generous people.

After leaving Bousingot I couldn’t re-find Nezu Shrine and for sometime I walked through the little streets lost. I actually really enjoyed it for it was a special day of celebration in Tokyo.

There were little tents set up with people preparing miniature-decorated towers to carry through the street, and later there would be crackers and fireworks.

It was hot and cicada chanting could be heard in the distance. So I followed their noise. Sure enough there was Nezu Shrine surrounded by giant trees and rows of dense azalea bushes, a roar with cicadas.

I walked through the Tori again: by day they were so vivid amongst the green foliage.
I visited the shrine that holds the special kami. The special feeling was there.

I was grateful and at peace for returning.


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