Day 2: 11/13/06

You’ll notice a skip in the date here. We crossed the international date/line while traveling here. Today started with breakfast at McDonalds on the way to the train station. This was quite the experience. First of all, it’s three levels. Level 1 is the counter, and levels 2 and 3 are seating. Even though the menu was not in English, they have the pictures up, and an Egg McMuffin in Japan is the same as an Egg McMuffin back home. So ordering was no problem, just point at the picture.

The weird thing was that most seating was counter seating. End every seat had an electric outlet right in front of us. Everybody was typing away on their laptop/computer/pda, and not a word was spoken. This place was quieter than a library. You could have heard a pin drop.

31 - Tripple Decker McDonalds - 20080612

We wanted to go see the Sanno festival at the Hie-jinja shrine. The Sanno festival is some shinto festival that happens only every 2 years, and we just happened to arrive just in time for it. We got to the shrine around 9 am, but the parade had already left.

17 - Hie-Jinja Shrine - 20080613

You’ll begin to see a theme here soon. Getting to the shrine involved climbing a lot of stairs.

06 - Hie-Jinja Shrine - 20080613

130 - Hie-Jinja Shrine - 20080613

They did have a map of the parade route with times on it though, so after walking through the shrine, we got our bearings and planned a route to meet up with it.

Since the imperial palace was just by the parade route, we decided to see that. Denied! It’s closed on Monday and Friday’s, and it’s Friday. We’ll be back! Since we couldn’t go in we decided to at least walk around the moat. This place is HUGE. Little did we know that this would be about a 5 mile hike, and by the end of it my legs were in excrutiating pain. Specifically, my knee.

65 - Sonna Festival Parade - 20080613

54 - Sonna Festival Parade - 20080613

After heading back to the hotel to catch some rest, we headed back to the Hie-Jinja to catch the nightitme festivities, which once again meant climbing the stairs. There we saw some traditional japanese music, which was actually pretty boring. The people performing it looked like THEY were bored.

106 - Hie-Jinja Shrine - 20080613

There was also food and traditional japanese dancing to the beat of a taiko drum. These drummers were insane. It was like performing martial arts on a drum. They put their whole body into it, and it’s really intersting to watch. Overall, a long, but exciting day.

115 - Hie-Jinja Shrine - 20080613

109 - Hie-Jinja Shrine - 20080613

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~ by chriggy on June 19, 2008.

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