Geku Shrine and Live Fish!

Originally published on 13 June 2006. This post is part of a longer series of posts about my first ever solo trip to Japan!

So my internet is up and going again. I was so relieved when we got it working again! Not being able to talk to my family and write y’all some long e-mails was rough!

Anyway, I had a day off last Friday. I went to the grocery then rode around just looking at stuff and wandering. I’ve already been lost in Ise, so I’m no longer afraid of getting lost! In my wanderings I found a mall/grocery store. I didn’t buy anything exciting, just some non-parishable stuff we don’t have at Very (that’s the name of the closest grocery store). It’s maybe –well, I have no idea how far it is. Maybe a kilometer? Maybe more? It took me about 10-15 minutes by bike. That thing’s pretty handy to have around here! Back home I don’t live close enough to bike anywhere. Anyway, here are the fish!

After I gawked at the fish a while, I decided to go to Geku, the Outter Shrine. It’s pretty close to my apartment, so I figured I’d check it out. I’m so glad I did! It’s gorgeous and so peaceful. The Inner Shrine (Naiku) is more famous, and therefore more crowded. Geku is prettier, in my opinion. I’m glad I went and I’ll probably go back to read or something on a nice day. I met a nice Japanese man and his granddaughter. He spoke a little English, and was very friendly. He asked if I was from America, so that got a small conversation started.

I finished up there around 4:00, so I decided to check out a museum or two if they were still open. I went to the Shinto Museum (Shinto is the main religion here, and the reason why there are shrines). There were some neat things there, and I’ve included some pictures here.

So after that, I stopped by Very (local grocery store) and got me some half price sushi and pumpkin–my favorite Japanese vegetable! After riding around and going to those culturally enlightening places, I feel like I earned my sushi and pumpkin. Ah, it was so delicious. I then discovered my internet was messed up before I had a chance to write to y’all about the day, so instead I watched a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers DVD and went to bed.

Saturday was a pretty normal day at work. I still felt like I needed to watch my back and walk on eggshells, but I didn’t have any classes to worry about, and I got to ride the bus with some of the kids, so I wasn’t even actually AT work most of the day. Here is the landscape:


Sunday I explored some more on the bike and found where the newer mall/grocery store place is. A restaurant called Sushi Lo is a short distance from said mall (I planned that on purpose!), so guess where I had lunch? Yep! Sushi for me! I ate less than the first time (I ate a LOT of sushi that first time!), but was still pretty full when I left. Conveyor belt sushi is a wonderful concept–get what you want, all you want, for a cheap price–but in practice it can be a pretty bad thing. I’ll just have to keep going back and try to get less and less every time, won’t I?

So then I rode back to the apartment, but decided to go back out again and wander. I’m glad I feel so comfortable doing that here. I’m learning as much from wandering as I am from anything else! Japan was an excellent first choice for a solo trip abroad, especially as a girl!

At 2:50, I caught the bus to Futami, my special favorite place, so I could get some pearls for my Mom and me. I met my friend Mrs. Fujita’s sister and brother-in-law. They’re so nice. They don’t speak very much English, so negotiations were interesting! I’m pretty sure I’m getting a silver bracelet with one pearl for me and silver earrings for Mom. I told them my price range and we looked at samples (so many beautiful pearls!), and she said she’d pick out something to fit my budget and I’ll meet with them again to pick out what I like! They even said I’d come to dinner next time. I’m always thankful when people are kind to me, but especially here, when everyone knows I’m a foreigner, and everyone’s helpful.

Then I got more sushi at the grocery store (woohoo!), and much to my delight, apples were on sale! So I got five. It was a most productive day. I ate my sushi, watched another Fred and Ginger DVD, wrote in my journal, wished my internet would come back to life, and went to bed. Because that’s the exciting life I lead!

More to come!

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