I think this place is in or near Wasada.
Wasada is a region on the outskirts of Oita city.
In this region, the urban landscape starts to disappear and farmhouses and fields begin to appear.
I found this place by chance during one of my cycling adventures.
This steep flight of steps was a good subject for a painting as it is not too high and it has that interesting bend in the middle.
This is not always the case.
On several occasions in the Japanese countryside I have seen similar steep flights of steps going up a hill side.
But the ones I can remember were often completely straight and furthermore they were very long as they went up very high hills.
Although they were interesting to look at I don’t think they would have made for a good painting because of the sheer scale.
And I couldn’t help thinking that it would have been exhausting to climb up them.
I read that in Kumamoto, the prefecture next to Oita, which is where I live, there is one shrine that has a flight of 3333 stone steps and the distance is just over 2 kilometers.
It is the longest flight of steps to a shrine in Japan.
It takes about 90 minutes to climb to the top.
Anyway, at the beginning of the flights of steps there is a distinctive stone gate, called Torii in Japanese, that tells you this is the entrance to a Shinto shrine.
This gate also marks the passage from the mundane world to the sacred.
I added the figures from my imagination.
I thought it would be a nice image to show a boy and his grandfather visiting the shrine together.
I’m quite happy with how I painted these figures.
I am not so happy though with the trees in the background at the top of the hill.
They are a bit faint and need to be a bit stronger.
And perhaps the foliage could be simplified a little more because it looks a little scrappy.
But overall I think this is an interesting and good painting.