Sightseeing in Tokyo

Trip Start Jan 19, 2013
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Trip End Apr 12, 2013


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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Saturday, March 16, 2013

We visited a lot of different places around Tokyo today. We started off by going to Harajuku and walked through the park to see the Meiji Temple. Before entering the main building, it's customary to wash your hands and drink from a well of sacred water. This is meant to give you luck. We headed over to the water and gave ourselves some luck before entering the main grounds.

We walked through the first building out into a courtyard. Directly opposite us was the main shrine. We walked up the steps towards it and could see people inside carrying out their prayers. There are many donation boxes scattered around the shrine. You're meant to give a donation and then bow twice, clap twice and then bow once more.

In another part of the grounds, there were stands with pegs attached where you could buy a wooden slate to write down your wishes for the year ahead. The majority were written in Japanese so I couldn't read them but the few in English asked for things like health and happiness.

While we were looking around the shrine, we noticed a procession of people walking slowly out of one of the side buildings. They were all very smartly dressed with the women in traditional Japanese kimonos. We guessed a wedding had just taken place. About five minutes later, the bride and groom appeared in order to have their photos taken around the grounds.

After having some noodles for lunch, we took the train back to Akihabara to find Tokyo's Anime Center. However, when we did track it down, we were a little dismayed to see how small it was. There was a room with some anime posters and a model of an anime character. There were only Japanese signs so I have no idea who the model was of but the other people there were taking lots of pictures of it so I guess the character is popular over here. We didn't spend long in the centre and headed to Nippori on the train. Nippori is well known for its trainspotting credentials as many of Japan's famous Shinkansen trains pass through the precinct. Sure enough, when we got outside the station, we could see a group of people all waiting on the bridge to catch a glimpse of the next train. Also, in Nippori on a clear day, it is said that you can see Mt. Fuji through the buildings. We walked up a hill in search of the mountain but we couldn't see it unfortunately. We headed back to our hotel and then had dinner in a little curry restaurant just around the corner from us.
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