Early Sunday morning (probably due to jet lag) I hopped on the Yamanote line to Harajuku. I got there way too early and accordingly, all the shops were closed and there were no people. So I decided to visit my first temple in Japan, the Meiji Shrine.
Meiji Shrine is located in a forest that covers an area of 70 hectares (170 acres). This area is covered by an evergreen forest that consists of 120,000 trees of 365 different species, which were donated by people from all parts of Japan when the shrine was established. – Wikipedia
I walked within the grounds to an area called the inner garden where irises were in bloom. There was also several ponds and a small teahouse.
There was also a well called kiyomasa’s well, but the line was really long so I skipped it.
This is a view of the front of the main shrine.
People write prayers or wishes on Shinto Ema and hang them next to the shrine for the spirits to collect them.
I caught a picture of this couple clothed in traditional Japanese dress.
Sake is used in Shinto rituals and is seen here as an offering.
After leaving the Shrine I walked across the street to see a great deal of food vendors.
Walking back to Takeshita Street, the shops were open and there were a lot of people. Here is a view of the beginning of the street.
There were a lot of interesting characters there. I did not realize it at the time, but I caught some Rockabillies dancing.
Since the entirety of the internet and it’s momma has pictures of the entrance of Takeshita street, here is a picture of it from behind. The front view has an LCD screen that really did not photograph well. I decided it was time to leave and hopped on another train to Shibuya Station.
Shibuya has been likened to Times Square.
Right across from Shibuya Station is Shibuya Crossing.
Shibuya is famous for its scramble crossing. It is located in front of the Shibuya Station Hachikō exit and stops vehicles in all directions to allow pedestrians to inundate the entire intersection. – Wikipedia
After walking through the absurd cluster of people, I walked through the many streets looking at the shops.
One of the more interesting shops I walked into was a Tokyu Hands. This place would put Hobby Lobby to shame.
I got hungry after spending a little too long in Tokyu Hands, so I went below Shibuya Station to the Tokyu Foodshow, another Depachika. There I bought pork and ginger Gyōza, a type of Japanese dumpling.
After resting my feet for a while, I decided it was time to continue on. Now I was on my way to Ueno.
On my way to the zoo, I noticed some Rodin. The zoo had elephants, pandas, and a large 5 level pagoda called the Kan’ei-ji. I had one more stop to get to on this very eventful day. So I left the zoo and headed for my last stop in Asakusa.
In Asakusa there is a Buddhist temple called the Sensō-ji. Guarding the temple is the Kaminarimon, which houses a large red lantern. This however, was under construction when I got to it so that was a let down. However, the Hōzōmon, the inner gate was open and that is what these pictures are of.
This was my last stop so I got there just as everything was winding down. All the shop keepers were closing up and that’s why there’s not many people.
Now I had to get back home and get a good nights rest for my first day of “work”.