Monday, February 11, 2013

Adventures in Hakusan

So I've finally returned from my vacation in Hakusan.

I stayed at my friend's house the entire time, and she and her husband were so sweet to me!

On my first day there, they took me to a famous shrine at the base of Hakusan (one of Japan's large mountains).  It was snowing that day so it made the mountains superbly beautiful.  At the main shrine gate there was a large, ornate white horse statue.  This was the first time I've ever seen a horse god, it was very beautiful.  Then at the main shrine, a shrine maiden was dancing for the local god there; we were lucky to catch a bit of the performance!  She was so pretty.  Being a shrine maiden must be an awesome job I would think.  Next, we got our paper fortunes; mine was for just a little bit of good luck.  Better than bad luck I suppose.  The near the parking lot of the shrine there was a water bath area specifically for cars.  Newly purchased cars are brought here and washed with the sacred water to bless it and protect it from accidents.

Next up was a festival dog head museum.  I forget the proper name for these things, but they look like the heads of dogs.  They are suppose to represent local gods during festivals.  The largest dog heads in the all of Japan are located here, and they were impressive.

Next we went to a bug museum with a live butterfly garden!  I loved seeing all of the butterflies and the fresh greenery in the middle of winter.

Finally we went to a Taiko drum museum.  Where a HUGE taiko drum is free to play! I had a great time playing with all of the drums there.  And since we were the only one there, we had them all to ourselves!

The next day, my friend took me to the International Lounge where she volunteers at.  There, I got to try on a real kimono! It was so pretty, and the girls had fun dressing me up in it.

The following day, I made pottery at my friend's pottery class!  After that, we went to a snowman festival up in a mountain village.  Every house made their own snowman to have a display, it was a sight to behold!  So much snow!

The last night I was there we went to an onsen, which I love.  This onsen had a Valentine's Day special, "Chocolate water".  Sadly it was not real chocolate, but it looked like it and had a chocolate scent.

I had an amazing time with my friend that week.

1 comment:

  1. OMG yay shrine maiden!!!
    It sounds like you had an awesome time I am so jelly!
    The taiko drums must have been really cool and the statues of the gods as well!
    Wahhhh I wanna go to Japan toooooo!
    Wepl I can't wait to hear more!
    - Kitty