I had the most amazing experience today. We went to Ise Jingu, the main Shinto shrine, and witnessed a dance ritual. We weren’t allowed to video or take pictures, but I will forever remember the feeling in my soul. When the music started, and the dancers danced, I felt deep emotion welling up inside. I wasn’t able to hold back the tears. When the music stopped, they subsided, and when it continued the tears resumed. I was moved not only by the music, but by the dancers themselves. Their costumes were long and flowing, and had elements of nature included as part of the regalia, including flowers and leaves.
The whole experience gave me a strong impression of nature worship. I also kept thinking about Jahmes during the event, knowing that he too would have a emotional/spiritual experience as I did. The gift shop sold little pieces of the shrine (it gets rebuilt every 20 years or so), so I’m bringing him a little portion of it.
Tomorrow, we leave the Ise area, and head back to Osaka. Most of the group will head back, and I will continue to Kyoto with Franco, Michael, and Phil.