Japan Adventures – Shinjuku Gyoen, Meiji Jingu, Takeshita Street

We were supposed to go to Fuji Five Lakes this day. I pre-booked a  bus going to Kawaguchiko station from Shinjuku bus terminal. Unfortunately, we were a few minutes late and we missed the bus. Since we were already in Shinjuku area, we just explored the area.

Shinjuku

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen was constructed on the site of a private mansion belonging to Lord Naito, a “daimyo”(feudal lord) of the Edo era. Completed in 1906 as an imperial garden, it was re-designated as a national garden after the Second World War and opened to the public. With 58.3 ha(144 acres) in size and a circumference of 3.5 km, it blends three distinct styles, French Formal Garden, English Landscape Garden and Japanese Traditional Garden, and is considered to be one of the most important gardens from the Meiji era. source

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Same as with Ueno Park, only a few cherry blossoms were left. Nonetheless, this national garden is still a place worth visiting with the tranquility it offers amidst Shinjuku’s skyscrapers.

Uogashi Standing Sushi Bar

I have never eaten sushi in my life. The thought of eating something raw and the possibility of getting parasites from it discouraged me. But what is visiting Japan without having authentic sushi right? So what the heck.

We passed by Uogashi on our way to Metropolitan Government building. From the name itself, you will be standing in a bar while the chef will freshly prepare your chosen sushi in front of you. As a first timer, I decided to have my sushi blow torched to give it even the small sense of being cooked. LOL

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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

This 243 meter tall building offers a free observation deck that provides a panoramic view of Tokyo. On a clear day, you can even spot Mount Fuji, Meiji Shrine and Tokyo Tower here. You can also buy some souvenirs here as well.

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Meiji Shrine

Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine), in Tokyo near Harajuku Station, is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified souls of Emperor Meiji (d.1912) and Empress Shoken (d.1914). It is the most important and popular Shinto shrine in Tokyo, hosting many festivals and ceremonies. source

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The largest tori gate I have seen

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Sake barrels are donated every year by Meiji Jingu Nationwide Sake Brewers Association

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Wine barrels all the way from the Bourgogne region of France

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Purify your mouth and hands before offering a entering the shrine and offering a prayer

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Prayers in different languages

We were fortunate to witness a traditional Japanese wedding at the shrine

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Harajuku

This is the center of Japan’s teen culture. The main attraction is at Takeshita Street which is lined with fashion boutiques, trendy shops, fast food,  and crepe stands all geared towards teens.

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To be continued…

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