Sunday, May 16, 2010

day 5: tokyo tower, harajuku & meiji shrine

we had a little bit of a late start. we didn't get to tokyo tower until almost 10:30. we also took an extremely long, boring route to get there. the hotel concierge guy drew on one of the hotel maps which way to go, but after i realized where it was in relation to the hotel from looking down at it, i saw a much more convenient and visually appealing route (which we took on the way down to the subway afterwards). 

the bottom (entry) level of the tower had tokyo tower related souveniers and, oddly, a michael jackson wax museum. the japanese just love mj. 
they have their own character mascots (of course) - the noppon brothers. hubby bought me a stuffie.

does it look like a tower to you?
yeah, me neither...

there was a marion crepes (same chain as in harajuku) just outside so i naturally had to partake.

the route we took down to station passed by the other side of the shrine that we saw from our hotel room. the street was tree-lined and beautiful. it was a surprise as we walked along to see the backs of the jizo peeking from between the trees.

the little stone statues are jizo - the buddhist protectors of babies that either died before/just after/during birth or unborn. parents often buy these little red hats to clothe their jizo and leave flowers and small toys.

we got to harajuku around 2pm - much too late to see anything really fun on the bridge. it was pretty disappointing. we didn't even bother trying to find the rockabilly dancers in yoyogi park. 

yep. that's a dude.


nice boots

the very first track on my "japanese on the go" tape (i'm sure i've mentioned that before...) starts off with this introduction:

"on a sunny tokyo morning,
you're strolling through the elegant gardens of the meiji shrine.
the only sound is the crunch of your shoes on the gravel path."
from the very first time i heard that sound, i always thought 'someday, i have to go there myself'. today was that day.

taking video of everything

we saw three separate wedding parties

photobombed by this little guy

i made a prayer to one day return to japan

i bought amulets for us
i THINK mine was just general good luck and
hubby's was for good business

on our way back to harajuku, we stopped to eat ate at restaurant near the gardens 

hubby had regular meat spaghetti and i had mushroom
(but i picked out the mushrooms)
my staple drink - milk tea
always served as "make it yourself" with a liquid sugar and a creamer

hubby's beer was the size of his head

sitting behind us was a group of women in kimono. i liked the green one and wanted hubby to take a picture. he kept pretending he was taking pictures of his beer or of me.

finally got one though
pretty colours!

we decided to take another trip down takeshita dori. i had more crepes. cause... crepes. 

there is a karaoke place in hamamatsucho that we went to on the way home. it was way nicer and easier to use than the one in shibuya. they gave us an english instruction page. 

btw~ our bed in this hotel was HUGE. just thought i should share that. when we were booking our hotels, it seemed as though the biggest available was queen. only doubles in most places. i guess we lucked out.

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