Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Greetings

The weather has suddenly dropped winter and has moved into spring, which I am very happy about.  On Saturday, the temperature was 65 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny.  It was a beautiful day to visit Atsuta Shrine.

Atsuta is one of the major Shinto shrines in which one of the three treasures of the sun goddess, Amaterasu, are enshrined.

Amaterasu's three treasures are the sword, the mirror, and the jewel, and it is the sword that is enshrined at Atsuta.  Note, however, that the sword is not displayed to the public.

The shrine was gorgeous.  The trees and flowers were blooming, the plum blossoms were my favorite.  There was a pond filled with turtles!

But the biggest surprise was seeing three large roosters in a tree! At first I thought they were monkeys, but no, ROOSTERS!!

I know chickens can fly to some degree, but they were very high up, and I was surprised to see them there!

I was lucky enough to catch a priest and some shrine maidens performing a blessing on a couple's newly purchased car, to protect it from accidents on the road.  It was cool to see the priest chant and sway his holy stick (there's a proper name for it, but I's a stick with white paper stands hanging down from one end, kind of like a mop).

After exploring the shrine, we went to a Turkish restaurant and had some kebabs.  It was nice to eat something not Japanese for a change, lol.  The man at the restaurant spoke to us in English, which was also refreshing   As the weather turns nice I begin to think about how I'll be returning home fairly soon.  I love Japan and so grateful I was able to come here, but I look forward to returning home to my loved ones.

Next week will be spring break, I'll be going to Tokyo to visit my host family, can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. Yay shrine maidens!!!
    I'm so jelly, you seem to be having tons of fun!
    I am working on my Japanese so that I too may go to Japan!