Saturday, March 5, 2011

Meiji Shrine Harajuku and Scramble Crosswalk

Yesterday we started our Tokyo tour with the Meiji Shrine. 
This shrine is encompassed by a beautiful garden that you walk through before you get to the Shrine.  I could tell it was the biggest tourist spot we have been to so far because there was a large number of people who didn't look Japanese.  Dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken, who died in 1912, this shrine even had a place to wash your hands and your mouth before entering and praying.  It was neat to take part in one of the rituals.

While looking around we saw at least 3 couples there for their wedding.  They were completely decked out and it was pretty cool.

Below are pictures of wood pieces that people bought and hung around a tree.  You are supposed you write down a wish and they get prayed for.

Bob thought the sign in the top right picture was funny.  I think it is a pretty round about way of saying to ask the person at the register for the watch you want.

Our next stop was Takeshita Street to see the crazy styles and to go shopping of course.
 Aside from the kids being difficult it was amazing.  There were hundreds of small cheap Japanese style clothing shops.  This street is known around the world for its shopping and outlandish people/style.
We seriously saw people walking around dressed like this and acting as if it was no big deal.  It was fun.  We saw a lot of people in typical clothing too.  I had to get some crazy and some not so crazy things to try out.  I'll have to post more on that later.

We spent most of our time in Harajuku after which we headed over to Shibuya for the scramble crossing and the Hachiko dog.
We snuck to the top of a hotel for the amazing view.  There are so many buildings.  Seattle is tiny compared to Tokyo.  There is a touching story about the Hachiko dog statue.  Hachiko (the dog) used to meet his owner at the train station everyday after work until his owner died.  For the next 9 years Hachiko continued to daily go to the station and wait for his owner.

The scramble crossing has got to be one of the coolest things I've seen so far.  It is one of the busiest street crossings in the world.  We took two videos of it from different view so even though you might not be able to experience crossing it you can see what it is like.


Jacquelyn said...

On the first video the people look like hoards of black ants. There are so many people.

Sara said...

I love your videos of the crosswalk! It was so crazy and pictures just don't do it justice!