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Tokyo, Japan Summer 2013 – Part 2

Wednesday May 14th, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Part 2 of my Tokyo trip last June! Part 1 can be found here. The weather was mostly cloudy with a little rain, but nothing that kept us inside.

Asakusa Shrine is one of the most popular Shinto shrines in Tokyo. It’s also a HUGE tourist attraction and if you walk through it, it’s easy to see why. The shrine honors the three men who established and constructed the Sens?-ji.

Before you get to the shrine, there are rows upon rows of shops and snack vendors. If you’re looking to buy souvenirs for family and friends back home or cute/neat stuff for the house, this is the place to find them. I ended up buying a much better umbrella here. Some of the prices can be a bit steep since it’s a tourist trap, but most of it is pretty affordable and shouldn’t run your pockets empty too fast. There are also restaurants if you’re looking to grab more than a snack to eat.

Lighting some incense, mine unfortunately toppled over when I placed it into the pot (I have no idea what it’s called). I hope that doesn’t mean anything bad!

Finally made it to the shrine!

I still have no idea what my fortune means but I guess success and a horse are always a good thing.

I still can’t get over how clean and beautiful everything in Japan is.

I love these displays. A lot of restaurants have fake food displays outside so you can see what they offer and they all look so amazingly made.

Akihabara! A gamer’s, otaku’s, anime lover’s, nerd’s, electronics junkies’, etc paradise!

Manga shops are always stacked to the brim!

Akihabara is also known for it’s infamous maid cafe’s. They’re not too hard to find, just look for girls dressed in maid outfits standing around. They will take you to the one they work for.

Unless you like watching girls in maid outfits sing/dance around and flirt with you, maid cafe’s are overpriced for what they offer. Still, the desserts are cute, the girls are nice, and the experience is decent if you’ve never been to one. Personally, I wouldn’t spend money going back…I’m not exactly their target audience.

I squealed. When I was first looking for the Gundam Cafe, I only found the one in Odaiba. This is another one of my lucky moments when I happened to stumble across it on my iPad. I’m not really sure how we missed it given it’s right by the train station.

I LOVE Gundam Wing so it’s no surprise I was really excited to see their menu based off of the series.

For food, I ordered Trowa’s and for a drink I believe I ordered Relena’s. All of the menu items are based off the characters one way or another and Trowa was the only one that had something along the lines of a dessert. I wasn’t really looking to eat a whole meal. The drink was amazing but the food was decent.

There’s also a small gift shop inside but I didn’t snap any good photos.

Oh Japan.

Quick snack in a cafe near Harajuku. We stumbled upon this one while trying to find the Meiji Shrine.

Meiji Shrine is located literally right beside Harajuku station. We unfortunately made a wrong turn (went left instead of right) but it’s really not hard to find.

Artist selling cute art right outside of the shrine.

(I’m so tiny!)

After the emperor’s death in 1912, a shrine was built to honor the Emperor’s role in the Meiji Restoration. The location ended up being an iris garden where Emperor Meiji and Empress Sh?ken often visited. The original building was unfortunately destroyed during World War II but reconstructed during the late 1950s. The Shrine is located in a forest that covers an area of 175 acres. You can find up to 365 different species of trees here!

Time for some Meiji Shrine picture spam. I couldn’t help it, this place is absolutely beautiful. Unlike Asakusa Shrine, you won’t find any tourist shops or food stands outside of some charms. You basically exchange the hustle and bustle of Asakusa for the gorgeous, serene landscaping of the Meiji Shrine. Also, unlike Asakusa, to see the Meiji Shrine in its entirety, there is a small fee of ¥500 (approx. $4.89) which goes to the restoration and caring of the Meiji Shrine…totally worth it.

So much talent…I took a picture of what he was painting down below.

Time to wash hands and mouth before entering the temple.

There was also a Shinto wedding going on while we were there. You couldn’t enter (of course) but the doors were open and you could watch if you like.

What little I have left will be up in part 3 shortly. I also officially booked (well, my dad booked..) my one way ticket for Japan leaving July 1st :)

Posted Under: Japan, Japan: Travel

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