Sunday, 3 October 2010

Best Day Ever

Best Day Ever

If you want to see my photos of random things I’ve found in Japan you should go to my photo blog!

Aaaand onto the other stuff.

This is kinda gonna be on the best day so far in Japan. Thanks to varying coincidences and a rain check I had the oppatunity to go to the Fushimi Inari shrine which was organised by the religion class. Brittany, Cassy, Caitlin and I all went together in a little group. We started going round with the larger class but got distracted and when we turned around they’d gone ahead. Woops ^^;

Fushimi Inari Jinjya (shrine) is a HUGE shrine on a mountain. The shrine was to the god Inari who is god of rice and he generally has fox minions, so it’s the image of the fox that is connected to Inari shrines. Well the main temple itself is at the bottom of the mountain and then you can walk up various paths up and around the mountain. The magical thing is that these paths are lined with THOUSANDS of red tori, which are the large gateways you see in pictures of shrines. Then as you climbed up the mountain there were individual family shrines clumped together in what looked like little shrine villages.

It was just so beautiful and serine and quiet. Being separated from the main group was fantastic because we could go at our own pace, we went our own way and stopped and hovered around the shrine villages exploring all the little crevices.

On the way up the first shrine village was were we got separated because we were exploring the little family shrines and there was a pond with HUGE koi fish. Then as we were wondering up there was a stopping point where the path forked and you could see the view of the city in the valley bellow. That was the only point in the mountain where you could see the city, the rest of it was surrounded by forest. After picking a way to go we found this little shop (there were lots of little shops with benches that sold snacks and omiyage) and after Cait bought some little fox charms the woman who owned the shop brought us out some cold mugi (wheat) tea. It was so nice! We sat down and drank the tea and ate the sweets they gave us. I wish we could have stayed longer and talked to them but we had to push on.

Further along we found a different shrine and a plaque in Japanese. I started trying to read and along with Cassy we were trying to read the kanji out loud. I then looked to our right and there was a Japanese woman staring/smiling at us. So she came over and helped us work out what the thing was and it turned out it was like a dining hall for the god where people gave him food.

As we went further along into the mountains we began to run up the stairs that we came to. This then reminded us of Mulan so we began to sing ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ and scared some Americans or Germans (I think) coming the other way. It was hilarious!

When we finally got to the top of the mountain we whipped out our bentou (lunch boxes) and trail mix and dug in. OH! TRAIL MIX is AMAZING! It’s American and it has nuts, raisins and MnMs and is SO GOOD! It’s used for hiking because it’s full of energy. I mean nuts raisins and MnMs taste good on their own but combined and they turn into like a SUPER SNACK! Duhduhduuuh! It’s…good ^^;

Anyway. We then began to head down the mountain which was a lot faster then going up…funnily enough. On the way down we ended up just chatting about our childhoods and growing up into the wonderful geeks we all are now. It was good.

At the bottom the shintou shrines merged into Buddhist shrines which were so pretty. I know that Buddhism and Shintou have merged together over the year, exactly how I can’t say, but they have both exchanged practices over the hundred of the years in Japan.

Wandering out of the shrine and into the town we got some cheap omiyage and icecream and it was goooooood ^_^ There was a chopstick shop that had shinkansen (bullet train) chopsticks! So cool!

After getting back to the dorm we met up with Mandy, Tyson, and Jacob and along with Cait, Brittany and I we went to Obaachans, a restaurant that is like my Super Noodle in Japan. It’s super cheap for a lot of food ^__^ We ended up sitting in the restaurant for hours just talking. After a subtle hint from Obaachan herself we paid and left and ended up talking more when we got back to the dorm.

It was just a really nice, awesome day ^-^

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