16th July 2016: Nagoya express (II) {Japan, summer 2016}

The day started with free breakfast that my hotel was providing, then I checked and set off to find a Shrine in the opposite block. It must have been the invisible shrine, because I did not manage to find it at all.

Then I set off to unwalk the path I followed the previous night to retrace the shrines, successfully. Everyone was getting ready for the festival so Nagoya Jinja [那古野神社] was very busy, and it was barely 8:15 in the morning (yes, I am a Japan early riser, who would have thought? XD)

And the same happened with Gokoku Jinja [佐屋護国神社].

I got to the Nagoya-jo [名古屋城] just before the hordes of tourists and had a quiet while to stroll around and take pictures. And when I say while, I mean couple of hours, because that is how I tick XD

Nagoya’s unofficial mascot is the kinsachi [金鯱] golden tiger-headed-dolphins, castle guardians to prevent the castles from burning (and that slack a little, as most castles have burnt down some time or another throughout history).

When I was coming out I stayed for a while watching the performance and rooting for some people just because they were pretty, even if I had arrived when it has all started and I did not know which clan was “the good guys” and which “the bad guys”. So yeah…

After the castle I checked on the temples again on my way to the metro. I had wanted to check the Gojobashi bridge out but it started raining pretty hard. Buying the Nagoya Eco pass proved impossible so I ended up just going in with the Suica, which worked without a problem. My next stop was Atsuta Jingū [熱田神宮], which enshrines the Sun Goddess Amaterasu. It is a bit out of the way so I decided to wait the rain out during the ride, and the plan worked. When I arrived at the shrine, the sky had cleared. A very nice ojiisan offered to show me around in broken English and I decided to encourage the system – Japan seems to be putting in place a system of helpful people to guide you in special tourist points, in different languages. I’ll support that.

Thus I went with the ojiisan who showed me around English. Even when I tried to switch to Japanese he would not really let me. He was quite impressed for for some reason that I knew names like Tokugawa or Nobunaga. After we were done with the tour I strolled around on my own again to take some pictures and enjoy the shrine. (I’m not a fan of this whole fad of Japanese older men acting as guides…)

Then I headed back to the metro system to get back to the central area and visited the Higashi Betsuin Kaikan [東別院会館], next to Nagoya TV and a Book Off.

I also made a pause for a snack, and then headed off to the Osu Kannon [大須観音].

Walking towards it I came across the hip shopping district, and a small Shinto shrine that I think was the Kitano Jinja [北野神社], but I cannot tell for sure. Bummer, I should have gotten myself the Japanese map along with the English one to match names.

After that I was a bit on the tired side so I headed back to Nagoya station. I had some time before my train so I tried the typical local chicken wings, tebasaki [手羽先].

Then I spent my Shinkansen ride listening to music and playing with my phone and was very lucky to go into a TOKIO-commercial full Yamanote train from Tokyo station to Konagome.

And then I crashed into bed. Because I was tired.