LETTERS FROM TOKYO #6 : MEIJI TEMPLE & HARAJUKU

Dear Tina + Gabby,

It has been exactly a week since I left and God knows I’m dying to come home.  It’s not because Tokyo does not appeal to me, hell no! But things happened beyond our control.  Never mind the training that never was (read : don’t ask details please; it was not my fault really and it’s pointless to blame anyone now. I am still grateful to have experienced Tokyo). What’s important now is for me to enjoy the rest of my days here and to anticipate my return in a week or so (is rescheduling e-ticket with PAL that hard these days?).  Anyway, I know I’ll see you soon and hopefully I can attend your Kindergarten Graduation, anak.

Last Saturday, I woke up early and thought of exploring some parts of Tokyo on foot alone.  I mentioned to you ‘ney that  I and my Pinoy colleagues here get along fine; but I felt the urge to breathe and think things over so I rode the Yamanote Line train from its station in our place in Gotanda to Harajuku Station.  Surprisingly, it offered me a brief escape from the busy streets of  the city.

Even if there are shops right across the  Harajuku station,  one will surely notice its charm and unique appeal that makes it a different from the other train stops; I instantly thought that it’s the perfect place that I needed for the moment.

That bridge on the right can immediately take anyone to tranquility…

Few steps more and there’s the first torii (Japanese gate) of the shrine…

Walking through it made me forget that I am still in one of the most modern cities of the world.

Those century-old trees that lined the path to the shrine substituted my view of Tokyo with mostly buildings and neon lights. The sight was really relaxing…

Few more steps from those sake jars and barrels, another giant torii seemed to welcome me to the main MEIJI SHRINE.

Meiji Shrine (明治神宮, Meiji Jingū?), located in Shibuya, Tokyo, is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. When Emperor Meiji died in 1912 and Empress Shōken in 1914, the Japanese people wished to pay their respects to the two influential Japanese figures. It was for this reason that Meiji Shrine was constructed and their souls enshrined on November 1, 192o.  Sourced via Wiki

Before entering the temple, one has too purify his physical being by washing his mouth and hands.

I found out by surfing the web prior to going here, that Meiji Shrine is a common venue for Shinto weddings every weekends…

Actually, I found myself lucky having gate-crashed on to 2 weddings 😀

This was the first couple to wed at 9AM that Saturday…

Most of the tourists and visitors who were there were also delighted to witness a part of Japanese culture. We stood beside the couple’s official wedding photographer to capture some shots as well…

Just before the central sanctuary where Emperor Meiji is enshrined, these wooden prayer tablets left by faithfuls and tourists caught my attention…

The main shrine itself…

Then I walked around and saw another wedding march…

It was great experiencing these events for free! (read : no entrance fee to Meiji Temple).

I admire how Japanese people take pride in wearing their traditional clothes not only on events like this but also on a daily basis.

After I marveled and mesmerized by those weddings, I trooped to the shrine’s souvenir shops but bought nothing. I thought it’s wise to compare prices of items for keeps from different tourist spots first, rather than to be an impulsive buyer.

As I walked toward the exit of the shrine, I decided to check out the other side of Meiji Temple. The road across leads you to Harajuku.

HARAJUKU Fashion Street- located few blocks from the gates to the shrine near the train station..

More shops that usually fascinate Tokyo’s young generation are located along Takeshita’s street which is still part of the main Harajuku Fashion District.

Tokyo’s kids have apparently different taste in fashion; they commonly mix typical street attires with the unconventional styles, making their entire look distinctly “Harajuku’s”.

Can you imagine yourself Gabby, that one day you’ll get to wear these clothes ?

What about you, ‘ney? hehehe…

Naaahhhh… hehehe 😀

That is all for now. Till my next letter.

Always take care of yourself and Gabby.

I miss you.

Love you both,

😀 Tatay-doc.

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19 thoughts on “LETTERS FROM TOKYO #6 : MEIJI TEMPLE & HARAJUKU

  1. You’re coming home ahead of schedule?

    I like the wedding garbs, you’re right there is a sense of old world in these pictures. Amazing given their proximity to the modern world that included a train station.

    1. yes ewok, and i like it. but flight sched hasn’t been emailed to me yet; i only got a word that it might be on tues; sana para in time for my son’s graduation from kindergarten.

  2. WOW!!!!!!! @_@ You make me wanna go to Japan… Ang ganda ganda talaga!!! Pero syempre, there’s no place like “home”. Ingat ka dyan Doc! 😉

    1. maganda ang tokyo, cza… kaya lang sobrang mahal!!!

      i agree with you, 101% that there’s no place like home!
      uwi nyo na ko sa pinas, waaaaaa! 😀

  3. it’s culture culture culture that i like to see in a place that makes me want to explore the other asian nations. so great that you’re exploring japan now. you should experience a muslim wedding as well.

    1. like you, dom and perhaps most of our readers, i also appreciate experiencing other cultures. no books or any reading material can ever replace first hand experience. 🙂

  4. You were supposed to be away for a month and less than a couple of weeks you are falling apart because you are far away from your loved ones? How far is far? A block away when you don’t see them is as good/bad as a thousand miles away when you don’t see them, as well. With moderm technology, far is as near as a phone or a computer in your room. Distance between people bounded with love just make love stronger and the bind tighter. Go out and enjoy your stay in Tokyo guiltless because they are not with you. For all you know they are enjoying your absence – just kidding.

    1. i got your point, bert; we constantly communicate via ym voice call/webcam.
      i think you missed out reading the first few sentences in this post. 🙂

  5. wow, such a sweet accounts of Japan particularly addressing to you wifey and son! you are one great hubby and daddy!

    ganda ng mga experiences mo so far jan sa Japan keep them coming 🙂

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