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Tokyo- bustling and energetic

My friend Laura welcomed me at Narita Airport and we figured to overcome my jetlag let’s explore Tokyo straight away. I dove right in, from peaceful Meji Shrine to crazy Takeshita Street with its Harajuku girls and watching 2,500 people scramble through Shibuya Crossing in one go. Dogs adorned with jewelry and dressed in fancy clothes still did surprise my after all this.

Meja Shrine, worshippers performing a cleansing rituals before entering the Shrine

Mejii Shrine is in a large wooded area with all kinds of temples and the main shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji in 1920. He was the first emperor of modern Japan, during his rule Japan’s feudal era came to an end and Japan modernized to join the world’s major powers. The year Meji ascended the throne in 1867, the name of Japan’s capital Edo changed to Tokyo.

The shrine was milling with people and wedding parties. Lucky us we came across a traditional Japanese wedding. All very exciting. I learned my first lesson of Japanese tradition. The bride wears a white kimono and a large white hood. This is meant to hide her “horn” a symbol of submission, I would call it a symbol of sexism. Later the bride changes into a colorful kimono.

Traditional wedding outfit

Couple posting for their wedding picture, the brides is already in her colourful kimono

The shrine it not too far from Tokio’s famous Harajuku district, the best place to see one of the famous Harajuku girls. An incredible mass of people pushed through narrow Takeshita Street. The place is crazy, packed with people and shops that sell plastic junk for 200Yen.


Harajuku girls


Harajuku girls


Crowded Takeshita Street in Tokyo’s Harajuko District

To top my first day Laura took me to Shibuya Crossing, probably the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. Unfortunately the video is blurred. I was filming from the 1st floor of the Star Bucks Café and I guess too many people had done so before. The staff pested me to stop filming.

Since my Shibuya Crossing video is so blurred, I added one video from YouTube that also shows the crossing from a different angle and how little traffic there is downtown Tokyo. I guess it has to do with Japanese being aware how precious public space is. For example, a car can only be registered if you can prove to have a parking lot for it.

Yokohama was not too far from Laura’s house in the city of Zama and we spent some time in the shopping malls just for fun and people watching. Two shops are engrained in my head, a dog store with dresses, jewelry, toys, beauty parlors and food for the cute canine.

Dog shop, Yokohama/Japan

Dog Beauty Parlor, Yokohama

The other one was a so-called, 100-yen store. Bright colors almost blind you when you enter, every item seems to be made from plastic, is cheap and tacky: portable ashtrays, learner’s chopsticks, potholders, the list is endless.

100-Yen store – checking out potholders

Laura’s house was gigantic, so we spent a lot of time at home talking but I met I also met her friends and at in special restaurants, like Yakitori, little skewers.

Laura leaving our friendship note at Meji shrine

Restaurant of Laura’s friends making Yakitori in a steaming hot kitchen

Laura’s house im Zama

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