‘Tis said the snow that piles
All year long on Fuji’s cone
Melts when the moon is full
In the middle of the month of June,
But falls again that very night.’
Takahashi no Mushimaro c. 730
We slept where samurai had awoken. Robyn got up at dawn, and opened the curtains, onto Japan’s oldest poem. Since the heavens and earth were parted, it has stood, godlike, lofty and noble...
She smiled at me and bowed, and launched into a tai chi set across our balcony. Clouds of the sky, fearing to drift across its face, trail hesitant upon the air...
Hovering above the water was a magnificent rose-tinged ice cream cone, fractals running down the snowcap. Since the ‘poet of images’ Akahito wrote his tribute in the Man’yoshu anthology in the eighth century, Mount Fuji has so inspired artists and poets and pilgrims that UNESCO identified it as a ‘cultural’ rather than ‘natural’ heritage site.