Stairs leading to meditation caves.
This picture was taken in May 2008 when I travelled through Tōhoku together with my Japanese wife, at times in the footsteps of Japan’s most famous poet, Matsuo Basho, on a journey he took in the spring of 1689 and during which he wrote "The Narrow Road to the Deep North", one of the major texts of classical Japanese literature. We were quite shocked by the severe earthquake and tsunami that hit Tōhoku on 11 March 2011, almost three years after our first visit to this beautiful area and its kind people, and our thoughts go out to all those affected by this terrible disaster.
Old moss-covered stairs leading to the meditation caves of Seiryuzan Zuigan-ji in Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.
Seiryuzan Zuigan-ji is a famous Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple of the Myoshin-ji branch.
The temple, commonly referred to as Zuigan-ji, was originally founded in 828 by Jikaku Daishi, but was rebuilt by the feudal lord Date Masamune from 1604 onwards using lumber brought from Mount Kumano in Wakayama Prefecture and skilled workmen from Kyoto and Kii.