Ran no Yakata

We had planned to go to Asuke today, but were a bit too tired to actually pull ourselves from bed before 11, so we gave up on that, since it’s about 2 hours each way. Instead, we found a pretty orchid garden nearby.

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Yagoto and Osu Kannon

On Saturday and Sunday, we visited Yagoto. We stopped there briefly Saturday to try a restaurant, and then returned Sunday to see the temple there.

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Ozone and Tokugawa-en

Ozone (pronounced “Oh-zoh-nay”) is a stop on the Meijo Line, which is the circular subway line. We went there to see Tokugawa-en, a pretty garden.

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Iwakura Road in Nakaotai

The area of Nagoya that we live in is called Kamiotai, which is right next to an area called Nakaotai. In Nakaotai, there is a very old road that’s painted yellow called the Iwakura Road. There are some old style houses and some temples and shrines along it. Yesterday, we took a walk there.

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Food and Gardening

This year I’m taking the plunge into super urban gardening with my balcony container garden. It’s pretty fabulous, if I do say so myself.

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Shirotori Garden

After visiting Atsuta Jingu, we headed over to Shirotori Garden, which is within walking distance of the shrine. Shirotori means “White Bird”.

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Atsuta Jingu

Today, Teddy and I went to Atsuta Jingu, the second most sacred shrine in Japan (the most sacred one is Ise). Atsuta Jingu is about 15 minutes by train from our apartment. It is 1900 years old.

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Delights of Nagoya

This weekend, we managed to hit 2 vegan places, a cafe, and an Italian restaurant. I also cooked a delicious meal tonight. I will now share that with all of you.

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Osu Kannon Surprise!

Much to my dismay, many parts of the Inuyama Festival were cancelled due to the poor weather, according to the festival’s Twitter. So, we decided instead to visit a cat cafe called Cat Street. The last one we went to was so ghetto, we felt bad for the kitties, so we decided to find a better one. This one was really nice. It had the litter boxes in a room separate from the play area and the cats had places where they could go when they didn’t want to be with people. The cats also looked healthier, and were really soft, clean smelling, and cute.

After the cat cafe, we went to Osu Kannon to walk around. The shopping arcades are pretty much all covered, so it’s a good place to go when it’s raining.

You think I’d weigh about 300 pounds with all the snacks I eat, but considering we walked over 30 kilometers between Thursday and today, I definitely deserved this deliciousness.

Anko Doughnut

This was a ball of sweet bean paste, covered in doughnut batter and fried. It was AMAZING.

Teddy

Even Teddy liked it!

While walking around, we ran across the most bizarre festival I have ever seen – Multiple times. I really don’t even know what it was about.

Fan lady

There was an older lady doing a fan dance.

French horn

Two cute little girls carrying a dragon with their mother, who was playing a French horn. (At least, she seemed to be their mother).

The instrument selection in the parade was… Interesting.

Instruments

There was a French horn, a pianica, clappers, a shamisen, an accordian, and a taiko drum (not pictured here).

Shamisen and accordian

Close-up of the musicians.

Shamisen

The shamisen player saw me photographing them and started rocking out.

Pianica Player

The pianica player. Honestly, if they didn’t play these at school, I’d have no idea what this instrument was. Is this some weird, Japan-only thing?

Elephant

Later on, someone was actually wearing this, but I was not in a good position to take a picture (they were way ahead of me).

Sakura mochi taiyaki

I found a taiyaki-ya! (The suffix -ya means “seller of”). They had about 8 flavors. I got the seasonal flavor, sakura-mochi. It was yummy.

Choco Banana

Teddy got chocolate filled with banana custard. Also quite delicious.

Demon puppet

This demon was a puppet on a guy’s back. Whenever he moved his legs, the demon’s arms moved. It was super cool!

Japanese girls

The cute little Japanese girls with their dragon costume.

Drummer

A shot of the drummer. She gave me a big smile when she saw me.

Kappa and Crows

Some men dressed like kappa and crows. Kappa are Japanese water spirits.

Fudoo Myo

A guardian you will often see at temples – Fudo Myo.

That’s all for the surprise matsuri! My next post will be about food.

Inuyama

Friday we visited Inuyama, a castle town north of Nagoya. From Nishi-ku, it takes about 25 minutes by train. We saw the castle, a famous garden, temples, shrines, and more.

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