I’m in the middle of editing my blog posts from when I went to Hokkaido in the fall of 2016. As such, I found a photo capturing the essence of ‘solitude’. During Day 2 of our trip, we visited Hokkaidō Shrine. For those of you who know, whenever you enter a Japanese shrine, there is a tradition and custom for all visitors to cleanse themselves at the chōzuya (or temizuya) with the provided ladle and holy water in a specific routine. After we had done this cleansing routine and entered the shrine to take photos and walk around, I found myself waiting for my relatives and for our scheduled time to get back on to the tour bus for the next stop of our trip. While waiting, I ventured back out to the entrance of the shrine and found the chōzuya completely empty and devoid of people. I think this photo shows solitude as I was the only one in this area — an area meant for many people to gather together to wash up. This is shown by the many ladles placed face down and ready for visitors. There’s a certain peace and quiet about this photo. Many times, it’s good when travelling in a group to venture out by yourself to search out for some inner peace and quiet in your own soul.
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