Narita Shrine

Trip Start Jul 13, 2006
Trip End Jul 30, 2006

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Today was to be yet another day of venturing out on on my own. Nick had said that there is a very nice and fairly large shrine in the city of Narita. He had given me a map and rather straight forward directions on how to get to the shrine. We left the house together and took separate platforms at the train system. He kept making sure I knew which city to go to...and which train to come back on and stuff. He's been such a helpful guide! It's cute of him to worry about me as well. I usually don't sweat stuff like that. I see myself as a rather resourceful person and have always been able to find my way home.

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 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
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