Today I left Miriam’s and headed to Sensoji, a Buddhist temple. I was nervous to be off on my own, but had this new found sense of courage. The temple and shrine were gorgeous. I could just sit there and think all day. I still can’t believe I’m here and doing this. The whole thing is surreal. The Asakusa shrine was the most touristy spot I’ve been to since I’ve been here, but there were mostly Asian tourists, and I can say I enjoy them much more than the Americans. Nakamise is the street leading up to the shrine filled with shops and eateries. I bought my dad a sake carafe with matching glasses, and mom a Japanese mug with longevity written in the inside. I had tofu and an Asahi for lunch outside the temple. I love that tofu is common here, like chicken is in the US. The park and shrine outside were so peaceful.
Miriam was nice enough to ask her friend John if I could stay the night at his place in Mishima. He teaches English at a school right outside of Mt. Fuji. Getting there was a bit nerve wracking because I have to take two different trains outside of Tokyo, (just went I thought I was starting to get used to the metro system), and walk a ways. I have to give Miriam credit, she is amazing with directions. She gave me perfectly accurate instructions (go down three streets, cross train tracks, turn left at the fork…etc).
I wanted to go to Mishima park to see the Shinto shrine, but I got there just as they were closing. The park was infested with cats, really friendly cats. The area is beautiful, a lot quieter than Tokyo.
I met John at his (American) friend’s Mexican restaurant. I got there early since the I didn’t make it into the shrine and had a burrito, taco, and chips with guacamole. They had good hot sauces! John got there and we talked for a while, and his friend Ryan met up with us. The four of us, including David the owner, talked for hours and hours. I learned a lot about Japanese culture (through American eyes), the school system, courting, and that iPhones aren’t very popular in Japan because there are so many characters that it’s difficult to text.
We walked home and I took a much needed hot shower.