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A New Adventure We do but turn another page - Act Three!

Spring Festival Holiday Adventure - Part Two

CHINA | Tuesday, 8 March 2016 | Views [283]

After spending the morning overwhelmed by the 1,000 golden Buddha statues in the Sanjusan shrine, we bullet trained to Nagoya and met Ryo and Narumi. Had a great dinner of shabu shabu at their place, played games and made plans for the next leg of our journey. The next morning, since Ryo had to make an appearance at his office at the airport, we went with him and went to a nearby mega-mall that had just opened. We had a lunch there in which you select an assortment of skewered items and then you dip them in batter and panko crumbs and deep fry at your table. You have a limited time to eat as much as you can fry. Very tasty. We loaded up on department store food and took it all home for more feasting, drinking and partying. The next day was Setsubon festival, so after having hitsomobushi (Nagoya’s special eel dish) for lunch, we watched as the procession of “gods, maidens, 60-year-olds and Oni the devil” made its way down the street to the temple where we were pelted with roasted soy beans (your evil is being thrown out). We watched as the procession entered the temple grounds and headed off to meet Narumi, buy the required mega- sushi rolls and head home. The next day we visited a series of body part temples – the penis shrine, vagina shrine and breast shrine – all with body part shaped statues, carvings, etc. The next morning it was off to the southern coast for our road trip. We made it to our first hotel where we were given a free upgrade to ocean view rooms at the top of the “Space Walker” – thirty story high escalator. We settled in, had drinks and watched the sunset from hot springs, had a Viking (buffet) dinner and hit the hot springs again. Next morning, more hot springs and a Viking breakfast. As our boat took us back to shore, we watched as the hotel staff waved goodbye until our boat was well out of sight.

We headed to the world heritage site of Nachi – shrine and waterfall – climbed a wild series of stairs to get to the top shrine and then followed a stone forest path to get to the waterfall where we could drink from the healing waters. Met a group costumed as pilgrims from the Edo period. Nachi is a famed pilgrimage destination in Shinto. It is the country's tallest water fall with single uninterrupted drop. There are two rocks at the top of the falls that are the guardian kami of the falls and the Shinto shrine. Many star-crossed lovers have leaped from the top of the waterfall in the belief that they will be reborn into Kannon’s paradise.

Then we headed to the Ise-Shima area (pearl diving region) and had a delightful seafood lunch. Headed to our luxurious hotel – very James Bond, mid-century contemporary “Oriental” feel. Next door to the location of the upcoming G-7 conference. We got our instructions from the hostess and headed to the hot springs. Dinner was served in the room and was a six course extravaganza with lobster, fugo jell-o, etc. Amazing!!! Another trip to hot springs and sleep. Next morning we watched the sun rise from the hot springs and after another Viking breakfast headed out. We stopped at a special shrine for our wish to be granted – (although, some information said this would only work for women) and a visit to the Pearl divers’ museum (the female Ama divers). Then on to Ise Shrine – the main Shinto shrine in Japan which is rebuilt every 20 years. It is in a large forest/river area. Heading back to the car we hung out in the old town shopping area and filled up on street food. Then headed out to Ninja village arriving just in time to see the final show of the day in which Daniel was brought up on stage to try throwing the “death star.” He charmed the crowd of course. We toured the ninja house, all tried throwing the star (I hit the bullseye on my first try and then descended quickly after that). Headed back to Nagoya for our last night with Ryo and Narumi. Walked to their neighborhood conveyor belt sushi place where “curtains were drawn” around tables that Daniel and I were gawking at as we waited to be seated. It was great fun as well as delicious. The next morning is was off to Osaka for our one day layover before returning to Taiwan.

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