Tag: Nezu Shrine

Tokyo: Temples, Shrines and Blossoms

Tokyo: Temples, Shrines and Blossoms

Last Thursday was Qingming Festival, or tomb-sweeping day, which meant that on Thursday, Friday and Saturday the office was closed. To make up for the Friday off, Sunday was a working day. Not for us though because we extended the 3 day weekend by two more days and flew to Tokyo for some sightseeing, food and to celebrate Thorben’s birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

Comedy and the Golden Turd

On our first night we went to the comedy show “Get a comedian’s take on life in Japan”, the first Airbnb experience I’ve ever booked. It was a pretty funny show about Japan, the way of life, history and culture. Most importantly, Meshida explained the “interesting” golden statue we’d seen on our walk there. Apparently, the building is a brewery, the statue is from a French artist, the plan was to put up three of them upright, and it’s supposed to be a flame. Now it’s known as the golden poo or golden turd. Gotta love Tokyo ๐Ÿ™‚

Sensล-ji Temple

After the show we walked over to the Sensoji Temple, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. The temple and the five-story pagoda are lit up beautifully at night.

Free Walking Tour

Friday morning we did a free walking tour. We started in Akihabara, where the Electronic Town (aka a cluster of lots of nerdy shops) is and then went to the Yushima Seido temple with a big statue of Confucius. Next, we went to the Kanda shrine. There, we learned how to make a wish/pray at a shrine: First, you bow once, then you throw a coin into the donation box, clap twice (to wake up the Gods), make your wish and then bow twice. Afterwards, we wandered through Ameyoko shopping street and finished at Ueno Park.

Meiji Shrine & Harajuku Free Walking Tour

After a morning at the fish market (more on that in another post) we did another free walking tour in a different part of Tokyo. We learned a lot about the early history of Tokyo, back when it was called Edo, and the Samurai and Emperor still ruled. Half the tour we spent visiting the Meiji Shrine and even saw a wedding party leaving. Then we went to crazy Takeshita Street which is mostly tailored to kids and teenagers and saw the old Olympic stadium.

Shibuya

We went to Shibuya for 2 things: to see the Hachiko statue and the Shibuya crossing/pedestrian scramble. The guide book called it the Times Square of Tokyo and it’s supposed to be a one of the busiest intersections. It wasn’t as crazy on a Sunday morning but Hachiko was still very cute ๐Ÿ™‚

Photography walk

Another Airbnb experience I booked was a photography tour with a local guide. We went to a lot of different scenic places and Thorben and our guide switched cameras a couple times. Maybe Thorben will upload some of of the pictures later but for now it’s just the ones from my iPhone ๐Ÿ™‚

We first went to the observation deck at the Tokyo Government building, then to a close by small shrine, Tokyo station, the Imperial Palace East Garden and finally the Nezu Shrine. While 80% of the cherry blossoms were already gone (they were a couple weeks early this year), we caught some of the late bloomers on the way to the Imperial Palace and lots of other pretty flowers. Especially the azalea (a rhododendron species) at the Nezu shrine were beautiful.

In case you’re wondering where all the food pictures are … I’ll discuss that in detail in a separate postย  ๐Ÿ™‚