Journey along the Chikuma River

Early Autumn / Journey along the Chikuma River: Light and Shade

– Kawakami Village, Nagano Prefecture

Early Autumn

Journey along the Chikuma River (1): Light and Shade

Kawakami Village, Nagano Prefecture

Photographed on September 16th, 2003




In the darkness, we follow a marker that directs us to the source of the Chikuma River, going away from the town and into the forest. The dark, narrow road is surrounded by deep forest.

We stop in the car park at the entrance to the mountain climb. It’s a starry night – the sky is studded with stars. Perhaps because there’s nothing to obstruct the view, moonlight brightly illuminates the whole scene. The forest is still asleep, the only sound is the rushing of the river. The interior of the forest is still cloaked in darkness. But after a while, the first signs of dawn appear. Mist hangs here and there, but the light slowly starts to spread, and the forest gradually grows brighter. Mountain climbers start to prepare for their journey, and the growing clamor muffles the sound of the river.

The forest is starting to brighten. As we proceed along the path through the forest, the sound of the river’s flow can be dimly heard among moss-covered trees. Soon, the flow of the river is a roar. The rushing of the river, surrounded by trees deep in the forest, becomes the only sound heard.

Some time has passed now, and sunlight starts to filter in through the trees. The light begins to dance, as if in time with the river’s flow, the ever-changing color of the river water. Light continues to penetrate the deep forest.

More time passes, and things start to settle down. Occasionally, a mountain climber slowly crosses the bridge and disappears into the depths of the forest.

初秋 千曲川 旅情 〔1〕光と影 

長野県 川上村 〔2003年9月16日〕

 暗闇の中、千曲川源流の標識を頼りに進んでゆく、街を過ぎ 森の中へと続いている

真っ暗闇の細い道 周りは深い森に囲まれている、車は登山口の駐車場に着くことが

出来た。星空 星がいっぱい散りばめられている、周りをさえぎるものが無いせいか 

月明かりが周りを明るく照らし出している、森はまだ眠っている 川の流れるざわめきだけが

響いてくる 森のなかはまだ 闇夜につつまれている、しばら時間が経った頃、夜が明け

始める 霧が立ち込め ぼんやりと 周りが明るくなり始めている、森の中も少しづつ 

明るくなり始めてきた、登山者も登山の準備と動きはじめている、周りのざわめきが 川の音を消している 。

森の中が明るくなり始めてきた 森の中の道を進むにつれて かすかに川の流れが

響き渡ってくる、苔むした木々、やがて川の流れが 騒がしくなってきた、深い森の木立に囲まれて流れる川、音だけが響いる。   

しばらく時間が過ぎたであろうか、森の木立から光が漏れ始め 川の流れに合わす

かのように、光が舞い始める、刻々と変化してゆく水の色 深い森に光がさしつづけている。

やがて 時が過ぎ、今度は落ち着き始めてきた、時折 登山者がゆっくり橋を渡り森の奥深くへと消えてゆく。 

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