I was on my way to do something when a pair of maple trees in full autumn color commanded my attention. There was a dark red torii gate between them and a stairway leading up the small hill the trees stood on. I couldn’t resist a look, and then I couldn’t believe what I’d stumbled upon. The name upon the gate’s plaque read, “Horide Shrine,” with the kanji for to dig and come or go out. Appropriate as this area used to be an oil field with quite a few wells. Walking up the stairs and into the shelter of some still green trees trees provided me some relief from the bucketing November rain. More color awaited me in the main grounds. Trees with leaves of lava provided a great backdrop to the shrine’s many statues, stone lanterns and tablets. But a burst of color in a stand of pine trees off to right yielded one of the sparkliest diamonds I’ve yet discovered in Niigata, a small and shallow pond ringed with maple trees, every single one burning red or yellow. It was exactly what was advertised in travel brochures in America.
- 2 min read
An autumn foliage gem stone