I was wandering around the travel sites, skyscanner, booking.com, expedia and happened on a very inexpensive flight and hotel to Nagoya. Now, I have been travelling in and around Japan for almost three years now and Nagoya kept popping up as a place to go. Work has been incredibly busy these past two months and I have taken to my little three day escapades into Japan.
Memorial Day seemed an appropriate time to go to Nagoya which was the home of many samurai during the warring period in Japanese history. I decided to pay a visit to Nagoya jo (Nagoya Castle). Hommaru Palace greeted me first and I almost didn’t go it, I was glad I did. This palace and the Nagoya Castle sit next to each other. It has recently been restored from the air attack of US Forces in May, 1945. Walking in there was the typical fragrance of the tatami mats laid throughout, coupled with the Hinoki cypress the palace was built from. What a lovely combination, I have some Hinoki incense in my house, and I plan on burning it in my tatami room to duplicate the effect. Throughout the palace there are removable panels which show rich animal, bird and pastoral scenes of Japan from the time periods.
The Nagoya Castle is “one of the grandest, most imposing and best-designed castles built during the peak Golden Age of castle construction. Nagoya Castle was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu around 1612 to protect eastern Japan from attack by the western provinces, and became the starting point for the Siege of Osaka. During the 260 years of Tokugawa rule, it was a symbol of authority and peace.” That was from Aichi Now, the official site for tourism Aichi: https://www.aichi-now.jp/en/features/detail/12/
After the castle it was on to the Atsuta Jingu, it enshrines the Sun Goddess Amaterasu the most important of the Shinto kami (gods). Atsuta Jingu is seen as a protector of the area’s agriculture and the shrine’s festivals include a planting ceremony. Throughout the year over 70 festivals are held within the shrine’s large precincts with the main festival held on June 5, I just missed it.
I spent an evening wandering around the Osu shopping district which housed several shrines and temples and shops. It was much hotter than I had anticipated and I was a little worn out. I did however find a kimono shop that had a rack of 300 yen kimonos. I went in just as the store was closing and landed on a 529 yen kimono with a 300 yen obi.
As I was leaving the shopping district, I encountered a man pushing a cart with a cat tower on it…you know one of those structures that cats can hang out on or crawl into…and there were all these cats in it. This guy was walking down the street pushing a cart full of cats and he and the cats acted like this was perfectly normal….Japan is so wonderful…I never know what I will encounter next!
And speaking of that, I am off to North Carolina, to Camp Lejeune for a few days of work training, so my blogs will be on hiatus for a bit. Fear not, I am sure I will find some sort of adventure when I return to stay overnight in Tokyo on my way home!