Lucky for me, no one understood me when I asked where the south gate was. If I thought to draw a picture of a compass or even write out south gate, they probably would have understood. The lucky part is without knowing which direction to go, I took a taxi.
The driver was probably my favorite taxi driver of all time. He had some command of English. He figured out that I had never been to the shrine before.
When we got close to the gates, I saw restaurants and called out to please stop. He looked perplexed so I said, I am hungry. He replied –
Ah, I understand hungry.
He continued driving into the temple and left me off in front of a temple restaurant. He told me if I didn’t find anything I liked there, that there were other places to eat and pointed them out.
When I got out of the car, he got out and took both my hands in his. He told me not to just look at the temple building. He said to be sure and go behind the temple and follow the trail. I had no clue what he was talking about, but I got the intensity of his good wishes for me.
When I got inside the restaurant, something put me off. Probably that I didn’t know how it worked. So I turned to check out the other eating places. That was when I saw some shopping stalls. I picked up a box of chocolate mochi and thought this will do. The lady told me they don’t sell the display food. In Japan they make realistic models of the food so you can see what you are getting. I laughed. I definitely didn’t want plastic display food. I bought a box of the real mochi and ate it.
I was feeling tired when I went behind the temple. Was it the chocolate mochi that kicked in or the hike I took? Orange is the color of sustained energy. This is where I hiked up the mountain.
At the higher elevations there were tea houses with a view.
There were smaller Shinto temples along the way.
Maintenance was going on.
This 2 1/2 mile hike up the mountain was very energizing and I would love to go again.
Thank you for your interest, since I am way behind, the comments are off.XD
© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.