Golden Week

As my Golden Week is ending, I thought it was time for a blog.  Golden Week is a wonderful collection of public holidays, which results in many companies closing for a week, including mine.  My holiday started on April 29th and the last day is May 6th.  It’s been sooooooo nice to have some time off.  Usually, I spend my holidays rushing about and travelling as much as possible, but this time I decided to have an easy, relaxed one.  Mostly, I’ve been hanging about in Nagoya, meeting up with friends, spending time at home, shopping… it’s been great!

I did have one day trip though.  On Saturday I went to Ise, a City in the Mie prefecture (another pin in my map!).  Ise is famous for Ise Shrine (伊勢神宮), the most sacred Shinto shrine in Japan.  Actually, it’s not just one shrine.  Ise Shrine is made up of more than 100 shrines, spread out over two main areas in the city of Ise.

It is forbidden to take photos of the main sites, but I took photos of the things I was allowed to take photos of, of course!

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The whole area is covered in trees and forests, and some of the trees were simply massive!

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There was a great street lined with shops and restaurants…

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Local udon for lunch…
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I saw this monk begging, and the next time I saw him he was using the vending machine!

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Koinobori for Children’s Day (こどもの日)

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Taiko and flute entertainment…
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Standing on the bridge over this river, there was the most beautiful breeze…
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This bridge was under construction.  I like the contrast of the new wood, with the old wood of the tori gate, and the machinery and workman.  Actually, this guy was apparently just taking photos, which I found rather amusing…
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At every major shrine there were long lines of people waiting to pray…

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Ise is a really excellent place, and well worth a visit I think.  It was very busy (well, it was a holiday!) but despite the crowds it never felt uncomfortable.  Even the line for lunch wasn’t too bad really.  I think the key to visiting there is to be patient and not try to fit too much in.  There were other local sights I would have liked to have seen, but perhaps next time!  Ise is only an hour and a half outside of Nagoya, by local JR train, so it will be easy to visit again.  The train only cost about 2500 Yen each way (around £17), which isn’t bad as far as Japanese train prices go.

So, Ise was my main Golden Week adventure.  Other than that, I’ve been mostly…

Eating Nagoya’s wonderful ogura toast (squished red beans on toast) in the wonderful Komeda (コメダ)cafe…

Taking photos of things I’m not supposed to take photos of because I can’t read the kanji! This one is Atsuta Shrine (熱田神宮), where they are currently doing a lot of rebuilding work…

Watching a local dance festival which was much smaller than I expected, but kinda cool…

Taking photos of Koinobori and enjoying my town, Nagoya…

…and watching belly dancing at my favourite Moroccan restaurant in Nagoya, Casablanca

(Yes, those are real candles on her head!!)

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All in all, a very nice, relaxing, Golden Week! 😀

2 thoughts on “Golden Week

  1. They rebuild Ise Shrine every 20 years. I wonder if the bridge is part of that.

    We used an excursion ticket on Kintetsu that gave 3 day unlimited travel on normal services plus 3 or 4 limited express journeys, and entry into most if not all the attractions on offer in the Ise area (maybe elsewhere). We mainly used it in Toba and Shima. It seemed like good value at just under 1万、まわりゃんせ きっぷ  I think it was called.
    These links are in Japanese but it might be useful on another trip
    http://www.kankomie.or.jp/sagasu11_traffic/t_06.html

    Like

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