Shinto, the way of the Gods, is Japan’s indigenous religion. The country’s many Shinto shrines are places of reflection and purification, nature and tranquility – they are pockets of another time. Traditional Haiku poetry is also reminiscent of a different time in Japan’s history. Here, for the briefest time, they are together.

Winter solitude–
in a world of one color
the sound of wind.

-Matsuo Bashō (translation: Robert Hass)