At the end of our climb down the mountain, we ended up going out through a shrine. It was rather surprising...one minute we were on an (admittedly well-paved) mountain trail, the next we were descending into a shrine.
Actually, thinking back on it now, the trail markers with the little Buddha/Kami figures on them should have been a hint.
One of the students I was walking with was actually not happy about the shrine. She said something about it being bad for progress to enter a shrine..."and once you go through the gate, you're in the shrine until you leave." So technically, since we only went through the gates on the way out, we might still be in the shrine? (She was not happy with that thought.)
It was odd...I didn't realize some people viewed shrines so negatively.
Anyway - this is my last update for a few days. I'm off to Tokyo for Golden Week! Yay!