Day 6 Nagoya – Kimono, Atsuta Jingu, hot pot and dango
About Kimono, Atsuta Jingu and other Jingus and nabe (hot pot)
In Japan you can find Buddhist temples, called o’tera(お寺). And often, at the same terrain, you can find jinja (神社), or Shinto shrines. The three largest Shinto shrines of Japan are called jingu (神宮 ). Jingu are the most important Shinto shrines of Japan (What is Shinto? I will write a blog about that later on) and are connected to the Japanese Imperial Family. During this trip to Japan, I visited 3 of them, namely Meiji Jingu, Atsuta Jingu and Ise Jingu.
On day 6 of my trip, Azusa’s aunt dressed us up in kimono. I wore a pink one and Azusa wore a purple one. I am fond of the esthetics of kimono and I really liked those kimono. We wore spring kimono with a warm scarf. We also had kimono coats, but you can’t see them in the pictures. With the right hairdo, we were ready to go to Atsuta Jingu. This Shinto shrine is located in the same place where Azusa lives (Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture).
Azusa’s sister and her children went along with us. We walked around in kimono and we took a lot of pictures.
Atsuta Jingu has been built 1900 years ago. According to the religion, the deities Atsuta-no-Ookami, the sacred sword Kusanagi-no tsurugi (one of the three Imperial treasures of Japan) and the Five Great Gods of Atsuta connected to that sword are present at the Jingu. They aer related or similar to Amaterasu-Oomikami, the god from which according to the religion, the Japanese empereror is a descendant. At New Year’s day, the biggest holiday in Japan, countless families come to visit this temple. Only Ise Jingu is a bigger Jingu than Atsuta. If you want to read more about Atsuta Jingu, please click here for more information.
One of the many perks of winter in Japan (heated toilet seats, anyone ^^?) is a dish called nabe. You can literally translate it with ” pan” or ” hot pot”. It is a pan full of soup, fish, vegetables and usually meat. On day 6 of the journey, we had delicious nabe made by Azusa’s parents. It contained among others fishballs and small fish and Chinese cabbage. I have to admit that in real life, I hardly eat any fish. But in Japan, I always eat a lot of fish. It’s a bit difficult being a vegetarian or vegan in Japan. On the airplane I talked to a German/ Israeli couple who were also in Japan for almost two weeks. They were a bit unsatisfied with their food options and the fact that being a vegetarian is so unknown in Japan.
As a snack we had dango today. Dango are some sort of candy/ cake foods that are very elastic and a bit sticky and made from rice flour dough (mochiko). It’s a popular snack and it is often eaten as a desert.