This is a cache series that highlights the works by Japanese filmmaker and artist Hayao Miyazaki, a co-founder of Studio Ghibli. He has attained international acclaim as a masterful storyteller and as a maker of anime feature films and is widely regarded as one of the greatest animation filmmakers. This multi-cache will take you on a nice little hike along the woodland trails where the Soot Sprites reside at Burke Lake Park. Just follow the Soots as they lead you to their secret loot! The trailhead coordinates will bring you close to Stage 1. Use some stealth when retrieving the container, as some of the locations sees lots of foot, and bicycle traffic, and cover it well when you replace it.
Note: This cache has a keyword that is required to unlock the Totoro Forest Bonus cache for this series. Please leave laminated clue cards in the cache containers. See the links at the bottom of this listing to access all of the caches in the series.
Soot Sprites (Susuwatari)
The Soot Sprites are spirits that appear in Hayao Miyazaki's films My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. They are are small, black, fuzzy creatures made from soot that dwell in old and abandoned houses (and woodland trails!) and leaves black dirt in their wake. Their usual mode of transportation is levitating/hovering, but they can extend black, wiry limbs (arms and legs) from their bodies to accomplish certain tasks (in this case, moving coal into the furnace) and can lift objects many times their own weight. Soot Sprites are not capable of speaking human languages and instead make certain, squeaky, murmuring sounds when they are excited, angry, annoyed or ecstatically happy. One can feed Soot Sprites like how a farmer feeds chickens, throwing handfuls of Kompeito (a hard Japanese candy) from a bucket onto the ground for them to pick up and eat.
Links to the series of caches. These caches can be found in any order.
For Best Multi-Stage Cache and For Best Theme/Series
NOTICE: This cache is hidden with the permission of the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Park manager at Burke Lake Park. Geocachers must abide by all Park Authority rules, regulations and other restrictions. This specifically includes park access times. Unless posted otherwise, all Park Authority parks are open from Dawn to Dusk. Night Caching in Park Authority parks is expressly forbidden. Please note: There may be a fee to enter the park at certain times of the year for Non-Fairfax County residents.
Source: Much of the information in this multi-cache was sourced from the Ghibli Wiki and Wikipedia.