Does He Drink a cup of Water that I put in Front of His Photo?

Viewers of this blog often see the pictures of mountains. Those mountains are all on periphery of Niigata Plain where I live now. Today I am going to write about a mountain which I don’t think I can see from my place, because it is a little far from here, in deeply mountainous area.

One day, when I was a kid, my dad said that he didn’t like mountain climbing. He said the reason. When he was young, he went to climb the Mountain Mikagura (Mikagura-Dake) with his two friends. Bad thing was that, in the middle of summer heat, those three men had just only one bottle of water. My dad had got terrible thirst while walking up and down the Mt. Mikagura. That was the reason of his saying he didn’t like mountain climbing and never wanted to do it again. I was just a kid at that time, but I thought that it was NOT a problem of mountain, but the problem of lack of preparation for mountain climbing in summer.

Now two years have just passed since my dad died. I always offer chrysanthemum flowers, sweet snack like cakes, and a cup of water on his altar. There is a big photograph panel of his face on the altar. Every night before I go to bed, I check the water in the cup. Water in the cup hardly reduce because no one drinks it. Vapor into the room air is little. I also check the water level in flower vase. This one downs every day. I pour water from the cup to the vase so that chrysanthemum flowers could last longer. Then I take the cup to the kitchen, change the water by the tap water, and put it again on the altar, with saying “Hey, dad, drink it”. Of course, there is no answer from the photo frame. I do this because I don’t want him to be thirsty in that world with the same problem that he experienced on Mountain Mikagura in this world.

The Mountain Mikagura is a little far from here. It exists near the border with Fukushima Prefecture. So, it is so deep in the mountainous area between Niigata and Fukushima Prefectures. Now it is winter season, it is difficult to even get closer to the mountain, let alone climbing it. It is cold, there is a lot of snow cover with risk of avalanche. And I don’t have my car (I hate driving). If I want to go there, I have to use public transportation. Even if there were some, I think the buses should be just two or three operations a day. I think I have never seen the mountain, “Mikagura Dake” in the remote area of Aga Town. Now I feel like I want to visit and see the shape of the mountain. Maybe I will find the trail that my dad climbed in his younger days.

Come spring, will I be able to go there? Though I am not sure if it’s possible.


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