Last night, I got back from a three day trip to the ocean. Okaasan, an exchange student from New Zealand, and I traveled by train to the seaside town of Toba in the Ise Prefecture. The name, Toba, means bird wing.
We stayed at a hotel in a tatami room and slept on futons. We went shopping in town and went swimming in the Pacific ocean. The water was a deep sea green and was really deep not far from shore. There were tons of fish swimming about. Some were large and grey, but others had beautiful yellow and black stripes. My friend and I layed out on a floating platform and watched them swimming around. There were a few pieces of garbage and some dead jellly fish floating about, but it was a wonderful beach.
On the last day, We took a bus to see Meoto-iwa or Wedded Rocks. These two rocks jutting out of the ocean are connected by a large, long rope draped between them. The larger of the two represents the husband, while the smaller one represents the wife.
We then took another bus to see the Ise Jingu Outer Shrine . It started pouring rain as soon as we got off the bus. We had to buy umbrellas, but still ended up rather wet. The Shrine was located on sprawling, wooded acerage. It was a long, wet walk down a wide gravel path in the rain. There was a large river, many creeks, manacure gardens and lots ferns. The cedar trees had impressive girths that would take at least five men with linked arms to match their circumferences. We made our way to the shrine, but could not go in because only monks can enter. I managed to slip in my flip flops on the rock stairs. I only fell a short ways, but my camera was in my hand. I`m afraid the poor device ended up in the water logged gravel with me sprawled on top of it. Somehow the camera managed to survive and still works perfectly. And if your wondering how I faired through the ordeal, I ended up with a slightly muddy leg, but that`s it.
We ate Curry and Rice before we took a taxi to the train station. I love riding the trains, but it was hard to stay awake during the two hour trip due to exhaustion.