ADVENTURES

2 Dec

It has been a long while since I have blogged about life so here comes a long one, or maybe I’ll break it up… we’ll see how it goes.

NISHINOMIYA/KOBE:

I went on a weekend trip with a bunch of my friends to Kobe. It was a group of 10 of us at first, four of us being international students, and the rest being Japanese students. One of our friends let 7 us stay at his place in Nishinomiya for the one night we were there. That was a fun night of walking around the mall, eating Coldstone ice-cream, walking all the way to his house (more than 30 minutes away), eating my friend’s birthday cake that his mom made, walking over to the beach, sitting and having a girl’s talk on the beach (while the boys went to buy us food), walking home, and then staying up and talking until 4 am. The next day was great as well, waking up to a wonderfully delicious breakfast, going over to the port at Kobe, walking through Chinatown, shopping in fancy stores and finding a cute dress on major sale (WIN!), shopping at the flea market at Merika Park and buying a really cute used jacket for 500 yen, and seeing the port and kobe tower all lit up at night. It was so much fun! And it made it even better being with a bunch of great friends ^^

FUSHIMI-INARI SHRINE:

This past Sunday, it was a really nice day outside and I was going to just waste it spending the day in because I had no plans, but I made one of my roommates, Catrin, come with me to Kyoto because I wanted to go exploring. So, we hopped on a Kyoto-bound train and along the way figured out where we were going to go. We hopped off the train and hopped back on because in reality we had no idea where we wanted to go. We ended up getting off at the stop for Fushimi-Inari Shrine so we walked up to it. Along the way there were cute little restaurants and souvenir shops. There was a stall selling really nice, but used, yukata jackets for 500-1000 yen, which is so cheap! We left telling the lady we would come back on our way down so we didn’t have to carry it up the mountain. So up the mountain we climbed. It was quite a long climb, but it was such a sight! There were rows and rows of brightly-colored red tori (the gates in front of Shrines). We made it up to the top of the mountain right when the sun was setting behind the set of mountains way on the other side of the city. It was such an impressive sight! It was only 5:30 pm when the sun set, but once it set it started to get very dark fast. So we set off downhill towards a path that said it would circle around and bring us to the bottom of the mountain where we ended up. Somehow we ended up near some deserted area of the shrine and had to climb up to another path because ours had ended. We kept going downhill from this new path believing it would take us down to the same spot at the bottom of the mountain somehow. All the while, though, there was nobody to seen. Granted it was a bit late and the shrine wasn’t terribly crowded that day either, but we were nervous all the same. We were in the woods, where the trees were blocking the last bit of light in the sky, so we not only were we nervous because we didn’t know where this would lead us and because there was no one around, we were also starting to get a bit scared. As we started to become very scared, a pack of runners with bells around their necks and headlights on their foreheads ran by saying the “Konnichiwa,” as custom when passing someone on the same trail as you as I found when hiking in Tokyo. We were so relieved because we figured that meant civilization was close. It was rather close after that, however, not the civilization we remember when we left to climb up the mountain. We ended up on a road that was lined with normal houses, which were really in the middle of nowhere! We kept walking downhill and eventually, after about 20 minutes on this road, ran across another temple where we asked for directions to the nearest station. It turns out that we had walked 2 stations over!! The station was rather close, but we wanted to eat so we went in search of a good restaurant, which also took a very long time. We walked this entire strip of shops that were all closed, maybe because it was a Sunday, and thought we would turn around at the end of it but we saw some lights in some shops up ahead so we kept walking and ran across an Osho restaurant, which is Chinese food. We looked at each other, and then both reached for the door saying this is it! We were so happy to have finally found food and a place to sit for a while after walking for so long. We got some really really yummy food to share and then walked to an entirely different station because we had walked that far! What a long day that was. So many good memories though 🙂

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