Daimonji overlooks Kyoto in much the same fashion that Sacsayhuaman overlooks Cusco. Having not been up this charming mound for decades I had of course not realised the similarity between these two 'Earth navels', Cusco and Kyoto.
Both are surrounded on all sides with low mountains and both are of course at major cultural crossroads. Kyoto is the undisputed heavyweight of Japanese arts, crafts and imperial presence whilst Cusco once boasted real gold flowers in its many Inca gardens. It flourished as the centre of that legendary empire replete with a plethora of priests, artisans and a royal family. Ancient Kyoto was no different.
Thus the synchronicity was not lost on me that two of my trusted companions on the next leg of our filming should live at the bottom of a mountain with a huge kanji engraved upon its surface. Big. The above photograph is literally BIG on fire during a yearly ceremony for the Buddhist equivalent of 'all souls day'. From Cusco one can see the Quechua resonance of Daimonji which has 'Viva El Peru' engraved on its dusty surface. The umbilicus literally feeds the growing embryo and indisputably these two great cities fed their respective empires both materially and spiritually.
Climbing the hill with an achilles tendon that still requires attention to strides, in the company of some of my Peru film crew provided an excellent opportunity to test some equipment as we gazed over two cities. One was in our visual field, the other in our imagination.
Kind of like how film works...