The cypress wood torii gate @ Meiji Shrine.
BIG Japanese breakfast for another long walking day......
Our first stop to the Fish market... not to witness the auction for which you would have to wake up at least at 3am in the morning to queue up....
Tsukiji Honganji Temple... temple with a difference..
Firstly, the exterior of the temple is an Indian-inspired design, the columns and wide stairs of temple of Greek and Roman architectural styles, inside is a pipe organ from Germany with free lunch recital playing Buddhist music during the weekday, yet it is a Buddhist temple in Japan.
This is the Namiyoke Inari Jinja Shrine at the entrance to the market. This Shinto shrine was built in 1659 to protect works from the rough seas during the reclamation project that created the Tsukiji area.
and also these turret truck whizzing by and narrowly missing you. We really have to be alert of them as they go so fast about their carrying these boxes of fresh fish produce.
passed rows and rows of long queue
going in where no fish dare to tread, its a dead end for them..
such big cockles.....
Trading time almost over and the workers were resting their feet and some eating their lunch.
So many food to choose but so many long queues everywhere....
so we were lucky that when we entered inside this shop there were a few vacant seats available almost immediately...
Next - the Meiji Shrine..
The Shrine is like a vast forest with more than 120,000 evergreen tress donated from all over Japan.
Walking under this canopy is so serene and quiet (inspite of all the visitors)
This cypress wood torii gate is the largest in Japan standing 12 meters (40 feet) tall and is about 1,500 years old. The guide told us that when you pass through, we are symbolically entering a sacred place and leaving behind the everyday and you can see the Japanese bowing before they enter.
These 2 trees are connected together by a sacred rope and couples come here to offer prayer so that they will have a harmonious relationship. The box in front is for putting your prayer slips inside.
the second torii gate inside the Minami-shin Mon to the inner sanctuary of the Meiji Shrine.
A traditional wedding procession in the courtyard. The bride wears a white kimono while the groom wears a black robe and they followed the Shinto priest under a big red umbrella while the rest of family and friends walk behind.
This must be the interesting and most photographed spot in Meiji Shrine...
This huge collection of sake barrels are called "kazaridaru" . Sake has been traditionally connected between the gods and the people in Japan. They are offered every year to the deities in Meiji Shrine and are donated by sake brewers around Japan. Of course, the sake has already been used for the ceremonies and festivals.
Not only sake, barrels of wine too from overseas brewers.
another wedding procession...
as we were leaving, we saw this man sweeping the grounds... very big swipes across!
This group of students are very helpful indeed as they practises their spoken English to answer our queries! What was May asking? She wants to go to see Hachiko.....
Yoyogi Park is near the Meiji Shrine in Shibuya. We did not entered the park. It was formerly a military drill ground in 1909 and became the US army barracks during the WW2. It became popular after it was the Olympic village in 1964.
Harajuku station... look at the crowds...This is Japan's well-known center for youth culture and fashion styles especially the Gothic and Lolita styles.!
You know you are in Harajuku when you see all these aimie posters
the focal point is Takeshita Dori (street) and side streets lined with trendy shops and boutiques and fast food outlets. Get some "kawaii" fashion, Lolita style; cutesy curios and souvenirs; the latest and stylish designs for your home; or be a kid again as you wonder into Kiddy Land where you can find the cartoon characters or to the 3 storey Daiso shops for cheap buys at Y100 and much more......
But lets eat before shopping...
yes, the fast food chain -Yoshinoya
Gyu-don- sliced beef on rice bowl .. fast food but delicious..
After lunch, it was time to do some shopping around the Harajuku area.
Then we moved on to Shibuya....
where May had a date with her favourite dog... Hachiko outside the Shibuya station. What a loyal dog, for 9 years he waited for the Professor's return at the station (not knowing that he had passed away) ......we love you Hachiko! Hachiko's remains were preserved and are on display at the National Museum of Nature and Science (more about this place later).
Of course, while we were here, its time ..
1, 2, 3, here we go as the traffic light turn green...
It was fun to watch .... the guide helped me to take this photo.
the Hachiko meeting point..
the designated smoking area around the Hachiko station.
during the 60's or 70's it will be entering the lion's den...the infamous red-light district - Shinkuju area, reminded us of the movie by Jackie Chan.
Shinjuku is a major commercial and administrative center in Tokyo and have the busiest railway station. Actually we wanted to go to see the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building which is located on the west side, but its the end of the day and we were too tired to walk more.
No need to guess, what's for dinner.