Today was my day off, so I decided to explore a bit. After looking around the building where I will be spending the next two weeks, I felt adventurous, and took a train to Atsuta Shrine.
Well, I took a few trains really, since I got on the train headed in the wrong direction. I first ended up in a small town in the middle of nowhere, before catching the correct train.
Once at the correct stop, I followed the throngs of people to the festival. Before heading in, I hit up the 7-11 for some snacks (everyone was).
Inside, there were tons of booths selling food and toys. There were the same booths over and over, selling grilled foods, fruit, noodles, sweets, and shaved ice. The crowds were so thick, it took me almost 3 hours to get through the entire shrine.
The areas closest to the actual shrines where the shinto gods are housed were actually not as crowded, compared to the food booths and the space where they planned to shoot off the fireworks.
I followed the lead of the people in front of me and paid my respects/asked for a good year.
I also made a wish at a small alcove, after I overheard a grandma explain how to do so to her grandson. It was tucked away in the back and consisted of splashing water 3x over a rock in a small stream.
On the way back to the exit, there was a small procession, where people carried wooden displays housing lanterns, through the crowd. I was able to take a video on my phone as they came through. You can see it HERE.
All in all, it was pretty cool, if a bit exhausting.