In April, I went to a Japanese temple for the first time.

To get there was a very long journey, but it was worth it. After riding the train for 2 hours, we arrived in Kurakuma. It was very beautiful there. There were also a lot of foreigners, which surprised me. There were lots of very tempting shops, full of pretty souvenirs, and delicious treats.

Then, in the middle of all these shops, and busy roads, was this massive pathway. Raised off the ground, it divided the main road in two. It was a long but beautiful walk, and at the end, was the entrance to the temple. This big, freestanding red gate towered above us; it was amazing to think it had been built all those years ago.

I say temple, but in reality it is a massive expanse of land. Stunning gardens, well kept, as well as
maintained traditional buildings, temples, and shrines. The temple was built around a river, so in springtime all of the cherry blossoms cover the water. The gardens were so beautiful. I now have way too many pictures of way too many things. Everything was so new, different, and fascinating.

Up a hill or two, and a massive staircase, was the main temple. Inside we rang the massive bells, which summon the gods’ attention, and paid our respects. From the temple you could see the hills and mountains off in the distance.

After paying our respects, we waited for the show to start. It was a traditional
Japanese dance, with traditional Japanese instruments, clothes, music, and to top it off, on a traditional Japanese stage. Very traditional. It was absolutely stunning. It was hard to believe that the person dancing was even human. They seemed almost otherworldly.

It was an amazing experience. Everything was so beautiful and stunning. It was a great time, and a great day.