The road to hell is lined with good intentions, they say. Good intentions and flowers.
Following Part 1 of the trip to Higashi-Izumo, I took a short hike from Iya Shrine to Yomotsuhirasaka, otherwise known as the entrance to Yomi. There was no chance of getting lost, what with all the signs pointing to the underworld of filth and death (though that being said, there are two ways to get there–I took the spookier route on the way back to civilization).
Once you leave the main road and go up a steeper neighborhood road, Higashi-Izumo gets even more quaint. Who would expect the entrance to Yomi to be among such charming farming villas? Strangely quiet farming villas, but charming none the less.
Then I found Yomi, up the hill and at the end of the forest, next to an eeriely silent pond. There were two or three large orange and white koi swimming very slowly, but the surface of the water was never disturbed. Hmmm. Did Izanami keep pet fish?
And then I entered. Well, not Yomi itself, but the area that seals it.
There is a carved stone to state what the area is, and next to that is a regular-looking tree with an obscure label. It’s none other than the peach tree Izanagi took peaches from to throw at his pursuers from Yomi! Though the time I visited was not the season for peaches, it was looking fairly lively among the deathly atmosphere.
There is series of boulders after that, but I’m willing to bet it was the tallest one that Izanagi used to seal the entrance.
Suspiciously enough, you can walk all the way around this boulders–though Yomi is thought of a cave, these don’t lead to any apparent cave above ground! Was Izanagi’s aim that terrible? Well, I guess he deserves a little credit for moving it in the first place, and we can’t criticize a job half-way done. That entranced is used later on in the Kojiki anyway, so maybe it was Oonamuji’s mother who moved it out of its original place–oops, that’s a spoiler!
I choose the largest boulder based on the surroundings. Similar to how torii signify a separation between the mundane world and the pure space of a shrine, those trees seem a little suspicious. This is, however, just my own opinion and desire to find ways to tie up plot holes.
My spookiest experience of the day came right after I left Yomotsuhirasaka.