When I think of Tokyo, I think of girls with impeccable style. At times I wish I could dress more like a Tokyo-girl. They seem to know exactly what to wear. It’s a cute and sophisticated look.
Something else that characterizes Tokyo are the shinto shrines and temples. We visited Meiji Jingu today, in Harajuku.
When entering the grounds of Meiji Jingu, you are welcomed by a huge torii (gate). We approached the main shrine and performed a cleansing ritual at the temizuya (font) on the left side of the entrance: we used the dipper to clean our left hand, then our right. Afterwards we would fill our left hand with water to clean our mouths. In the end you rinse your left hand once again.
I learned something new today about Shintoism: at the shrine, visitors can write their wishes on these wooden plates and then leave them at the shrine in hopes that their wishes come true. Most wishes are really about good health and love. We also saw a lot of people who wrote nothing but their gratitude of the life they were able to live.
A short walk from the Meiji Jingu is Takeshita-dori. This street is filled with shops that sell all the Harajuku outfits. Unfortunately, Mark and I weren’t able to spot a girl wearing the Harajuku style. I hope we get to see one soon when we go back to Yoyogi Park! We had lunch at Harajuku Gyoza Ru, a place which only sells gyoza. There were even lines to get a table!
It’s about a 30 minute walk from Harajuku to Shibuya. You know you’re approaching Shibuya when the crowds begin to increase. Shibuya crossing is another thing that pops in your head when you think of Tokyo.
One thing I’ve noticed in these past two days is that there is no such thing as chaos in Tokyo. Everyone knows exactly what they’re doing and where they’re going. I think it’s also because people tend to follow the rules. After walking with the crowds, Mark and I managed to find a seat at Starbucks to watch the crossing from above.
We went back to Tokyo Station after Shibuya to have some ramen noodles. On the ground floor of the subway station (Yaesu South Exit), there is a square (literally) filled with eight ramen noodle restaurants: Tokyo Ramen Street. There are no signs that tell you when you get there though. It took us a while to find it, but when we finally did we couldn’t choose between the eight stalls. Mark and I decided to eat at the restaurant with the longest line. Fun fact: at the restaurant, you have to choose and pay your meal beforehand from a machine and then stand in line to get a table.
Tomorrow we plan to visit the Tsukiji Fish Market, which is only a 15 minute walk from our hotel. The only downside is that we plan to be there at 4:30 am and that it’s 23:50 pm as I finish this post… Wish us luck! 😉