This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).
Today’s travel notes
Me and the TC are on our way to London. It’s a long, long trip from Sydney to London, so the TC decided to stop over in Japan. It so happens that the Tokyo airport is sixty kilometres outside Tokyo. If your stopover is just part of a day, it’s probably not worth travelling all the way to the big smoke and back. The town of Narita is close to the aiport, and the townsfolk have cottoned on to the fact that many travellers will think the same as the TC did: “Let’s pop into Narita and see what’s happnin there”.
There’s a lot happening, especially in the area of the Naritasan temple and the street leading from the train station to the temple.
My impressions? Busy calm.
The book I’m in
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. Written way back in 1985, this book nevertheless comes across as surprisingly modern. It’s about a lad who is co-opted into the military at the age of six. The date is some time in the future, after the first couple of invasions by an alien race of bugs. The Earth survived the early invasions, and is now gearing up to ensure it can survive the next one, whenever that may be.
(This is another of those ebooks, so to be fair I must confide that I’m not exactly in the book. I’m a real-life, three-dimensional creature, not one of those electronic bookmarks. Nevertheless, occupying a unique place in the TC’s consciousness as I do, I can reliably inform you about such books.)
Crowne Plaza Ana Narita, 68 Horinouchi, Narita, Chiba Prefecture 286-0107, Japan.
If you have an Apple Mac and are staying at the Crowne Plaza Ana Narita, you may need to ask the hotel for a wifi router. My room had only a network cable connection, which my Mac can’t use. After a bit of discussion, the hotel staff were very happy to find me a router, but I had the impression they’re in short supply.
Me in Narita. The TC has this slightly dangerous habit of photographing me near script that she can’t read. I do hope this stone says something nice, or at least interesting. It was outside what seemed to be a civic centre near the Narita train station:
Since you can never have enough of a good thing, here’s me again, this time in the gardens behind the Naritasan temple (and again, I’m trusting the sign behind me to be at least polite):
The TC was impressed with the symmetry of this sign, which we encountered on our way into Narita by bus:
When researching Narita before we left, the TC had difficulty finding any maps. So she snapped this one, which the Narita townsfolk have kindly posted on a signboard near the station. It shows the station on the left, and the Naritasan temple complex in the green patch on the right:
This is the famous Omotesando Street (sometimes spelled Omote Sando) leading from the train station to the Naritasan temple:
Most of the buildings are made of wood, and some of them seem quite old and are definitely picturesque :
A view down a side street:
Colourful shops line Omotesando street, selling food and tourist wares of all sorts:
The crowd gets quite dense at times, but everyone is happy and friendly:
The entrance to the Naritasan temple complex:
Inside the complex are a number of buildings, gates, towers, shrines, and places to relax and contemplate life:
A magnificent statue of a lion, with a pigeon posing behind it:
The temple grounds are on different levels, offering lovely views of rooftops and courtyards:
Another of the temple buildings:
Bronze statues of Buddhist disciples scattered across a rock face:
Another of the buildings in the temple complex:
Next is a look inside the Buddhist Scriptures Hall, erected in 1722. The centrepiece is a revolving bookcase, carved with colourful representations of the guardians of Buddhism. Underneath are eight demons, holding up the bookcase.
Behind the temple complex is a park full of tall trees, winding paths, and interesting bits of art:
That’s all for today, dudes.