Trip Start Jul 13, 2006
22Trip End Jul 30, 2006
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I took the train to Narita and turned left upon exiting the station. I walked down this one-way street filled with quaint shops and some nice souvenirs. Found my way to the shrine just as a ceremony of some sort was beginning. Buddhist monks in their bright robes were walking up a set of stairs and then headed into the main shrine building. You couldn't go inside (or had to pay to be able to do so) and couldn't take any pictures either...so I just left the area and began wandering about.
There weren't many people at the shrine today, which was nice. The weather was overcast all day (it's been raining since I arrived in Japan!) but it was still rather humid and stuffy. There were so many statues and monuments around. I walked up a set of stairs and ended up in this park that I was completely alone in. I wandered around with nothing but the sounds of nature in the background. There was this one mosquito that tried making a meal out of me. I don't think he knew who he was dealing with. After living 8 months with the voracious lil' dudes of Brazil...the bigger and less speedy Japanese mosquito didn't stand a chance. I smacked that motha so hard...I think the echo was heard throughout the shrine grounds. I was not bothered again. LOL.
Came upon a set of three interconnected ponds. There was a little bridge/gazebo at the first one with a large population of koi fish (carp) and turtles. Made my way around the other 2 ponds just basking in the tranquility of the place and the simple beauty of nature. You could spend hours in a place like that and not realize that time is flying by. I spent 2 hours walking around the shrine grounds. It was just so amazing. Just when I thought I had seen everything there was to see, I dicovered a new path and more amazing things. There were some beautiful flowers there I took pictures of as well.
Upon leaving the shrine I decided to check out some of the souvenir stores. I found some beautiful things for rather decent prices as well. My grandmother had asked me for a fan, so I got her a decorative one. Got some nice ceramic work, a decorated mirror, a postcard (for myself) a bigger gold-leaf decorated mountable fan and a gorgeous geisha doll in a beautiful red kimono. The best part about my shopping experience was that...due to being a tourist...I didn't get charged tax! Sweet! I'll try to take pictures of those things after and send them. Right now they are all gift wrapped and I don't wanna open them. Some 10 minutes down the street I found this store that had caught my eye earlier (on the way to the shrine). It had short yukatas in some amazing patterns. I settled on this caribbean blue/teal colored one with peacocks and flowers on it. I just loved it. I'm wearing it right now as I make this entry. It's like a facy Japanese house coat/robe, it's awesome. I might have to buy 1-2 more before leaving Japan. Just beautiful. Will try to get a picture sometime soon too. Stay tuned! :D