Today’s leisurely walk would take us to through the agricultural heartland of Kochi Prefecture. We were on our way to Kochi City for two day’s rest in one of Shikoku’s larger urban centers. Along the way, we will visit three more temples on the Henro-michi.
First comes Dianichiji, Temple 28, a modest complex brought to life on this early April morning by a burst of cherry blossoms.
Our route meanders through water-laden fields as workers busily go about planting a new crop of rice. Abutting the rice fields are row upon row of plastic greenhouses. Onions appear to be the crop of choice right now and the their pungent aroma envelopes us. There’s evidence of other crops as well. Through open doors of small warehouses and garages we notice red peppers, eggplants and and cucumbers being sorted and crated.
In the lexicon of the Situationist movement, a drift (or more properly, dérive) is an impromptu walk that attempts to confound the established pathways and instructions designed for pedestrians.
Drifters follow their own senses. They create arbitrary instructions in order to see their world anew and in a way not prescribed by the pedestrian rule-book for navigating their surroundings. Why, for example, would one use a map of Winnipeg to navigate that city? Why not overlay a map of Paris to traverse Winnipeg’s streets and lanes and see the city from a different perspective?
Tokyo looks very anarchical to us western tourists. It is our first time here, in this unfamiliar place with its strikingly different cultural values. No maps of Tokyo or Paris needed here. Just a willingness to get lost. With little time to explore this vast city and a need to pack in a much sensory overload as possible, we set out on our adventure, happy to be swept away in the tsunami of Tokyo life.
What follows is a visual diary of Gail and David’s drift through Tokyo. (more…)