Today was the first real school day, with all classmates present and the correct textbooks. The vocabulary quiz in the morning turned out to be not dramatic at all, but because I was nervous I made stupid mistakes and now I’m angry about myself. I could have done better! Time really flew by and after school you can already guess…WHAT? No, not shopping again, but I met Sarah and Anna and together we set off with our bikes in direction to Okazaki castle. After a 20 to 25 minute ride we arrived at Otogawa, Okazaki’s river and to stand on the huge bridge and look down at the riverbed, where in ancient times the harbor had been, was beautiful.
We crossed the bridge and turned right, because we had already gotten a glimpse of the castle’s roof. On our way through narrow streets we found out…where Santa Clause lives (according to Bibi Blocksberg at least where the Japanese one lives)…
…that Japanese spiders are all very huge (we’ve seen several of them and I hope to never find one in my room)…
…and that Panasonic seems to produce about everything, including Sarah’s bike saddle…
…and my basket ^^ (look how saucily Little Red Ridinghood peeks out of the back)!
Finally we arrived at the castle and enjoyed a good time walking around and taking a close look at everything, including the attached Shinto shrine.Â By the way Okazaki is the birthplace of famous Tokugawa Ieyasu.
This is of course me beneath the toori.
Here Sarah and I wash our hands for ritual purification. ( I was so excited to finally do it) we saw some Japanese that even took some water into their mouths and spat it out afterwards, but I didn’t.
In front of the main hall there’s a offertory box and above an enormouss bell that people ring after their prayer so the kami (gods) will hear them. There were many Japanese who came to do it so I felt ashamed to pray there as a foreigner, but perhaps another time. (I would have loved to ring the bell XD)
To be honest, I had the castle expected to be a bit bigger, but that’s just how it is. Sarah kisses a giant stone turtle in the lower right corner of the picture ^^
That tree was shaped like a tuning fork XD
The surroundings of the shrine/castle are very beautiful and I can imagine to spend time there again.
Near the castle I found a new manhole cover, this time with the castle and a ship, I guess to remind of the old harbor just next to it.
We crossed the river again, this time on a smaller bridge intended for pedestrians and bikers and stopped because there were plenty of monstrous koi carps in the water, all over one meter long. Most of them were black, but I was able to see a yellow, a white and a red one, too.
On the bridge suddenly a woman talked to me in Japanese and asked from which country we are and what we do in Okazaki. I had fun to talk to a totally unknown person and it turned out to be, that she’s a teacher of English and looks for foreigners that like to present their country (in English) in her class. She asked all three of us to come and we will get some money for it XD
After that we were in an adventurous mood, so we took off to explore more of Okazaki…and almost got lost. We were three hours on our bikes today…hills up…hills down (oh my God, due to a road hole my camera flew out of my bag and landed on the street, when a car was turning exactly into the street I had just crossed; the car missed the camera only buy some centimeters….lucky!!!!)
When we were more or less lost a big „Aeon Mall“-sign showed us the correct way home XD
3 hours on the bike…I guess that’s more than I spend on it the entire summer at home *lol* My legs will be made of steel when I return to Germany.
Sorry, no cute shopping today. .. XDAlles Liebe,