The trip to the Shrine was a very interesting and personally rewarding.
I was a bit uncomfortable at first because I wasn’t a follower of Shinto, but when I found out praying at the shrine was optional; I was very excited to go!
The gardens and grounds around the shrine were very immaculate.
There were countless gardens around the temple that I couldn’t get enough pictures of.
I personally loved all the water gardens with the flowers in bloom.
There were also many Koi ponds around, which are commonly associated with Japanese culture.
After the shrine visit, we went to the Kyushu National Museum.
There weren’t only Japanese artifacts there, but artifacts from all over the world including the Middle East. I was particularly surprised seeing Persian artifacts like carpets and jars in the museum.
The only thing I really didn’t like about the museum was that photos weren’t allowed. I understand that they’re rules, but I know I have friends and family that would have loved to see photos! Their rule is so strict that you can’t even have your phone/camera out while in or near the exhibit. It was dark, so I was using my phone for light to read the pamphlet, and I was told to put it away, even though I was just sitting down on a bench by the restroom, nowhere near the exhibit artifacts.
Overall though, no matter what your background is, you will enjoy sightseeing at this temple, and maybe find some neat souvenirs at the Museum gift shop!