This past weekend I had not planned on doing anything special, but instead I was pleasantly surprised by two of my friends. After work on Friday, I got a call from them where they asked if it would be okay to come to Nagoya. I had some minor plans, but considering the circumstances I welcomed them in at around one in the morning(my job ends late). The next morning I had been unsure of what they expected to do, but I quickly found out that they were wondering the same thing. I picked up my tour guide book of Aichi Prefecture and began naming several activities. Eventually we agreed on something and headed out on a road trip.
After about an hour we arrived on the scene. The information in the guide book had not been very explanatory so I was unsure of what to expect. We approached the sights and saw a spacious garden in front of the sea. A large number of hawks and other birds were circling overhead and in the distance you could see the island, Takeshima.
The island is just off the coast and is connected by a long straight bridge. At the end of the bridge was a gate that you must pass through to enter the island. Seeing that it is winter, the wind was brutal on the way to the island. However, once you passed through the gate at the end of the bridge, the wind stopped which resulted in a quite peaceful atmosphere.
Looking back from the bridge you could see the coastal scenery.
As you enter the island you approach a series of steps. Written on the railing of the steps were names that made their way up to the top of the island. It was less than a five minute walk up to the top of the island and at the top stood a variety of buildings and small structures.
Komainu, as pictured above, is a dog that can be seen at some shrines or temples for the purpose of protecting the area. He stood ferociously behind one of the gates on the way up to the top.
My one friend was particularly strict with the etiquette at a shrine. She made sure to show me to bow twice, toss the coin, clap twice, pause, and then bow to finish. From here my cameras battery died which forced me to use my phone as a backup.
The scenery was extremely peaceful. It would have been a beautiful place to stay for a few days at a time. The area was filled with wildlife and plants, and even during the winter the birds were quite active. You could just barely hear the waves in the background which gave a feeling of peace and relaxation.
There were banners that lined the walkway up and down with the shrines’ name written on them. I’m not sure as to the significance of these banners, if there is any, but it was just an interesting addition to the scenery. If it were not so bright in the background, you would be able to see the ocean through the trees.
As we headed back, there were birds flying above the people ahead of us along the bridge. They had followed them since they were tossing food to them. The birds seemed quite friendly and there was actually a statue of a woman holding a bird within the main garden prior to the bridge. Once we crossed the windy bridge again, we stopped for a bit to watch the children feed the birds.
For more information, learn Japanese and browse here(I couldn’t find anything in English):