Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oh, Tokyo! Part III

Our Tokyo city tour was scheduled on the third day. Same drill as the day before – pick-up at Keio and rode to Hamamucho station where we boarded our assigned tour buses.

Barrels of sake donated to the shrine

Our first stop was the Meiji Shrine, a sprawling Shinto shrine in central Tokyo.

You have to wash your hands and mouth before stepping inside the main temple complex.

Lucky to witness two weddings. Here’s the first one. Japanese wedding gowns are so fashyon!

Wedding No. 2. The bride and groom and their entourage sauntered so regally to the middle of the courtyard, oblivious to the throngs of tourists and visitors offering their prayers.

The Imperial Palace where the Emperor and Empress live is off-limits to commoners but visitors are allowed to tour the East Gardens. Me at the entrance.

Dwarfed by giant slabs of stone

In love with the lovely autumn colors.

Yellow trees! Who needs yellow ribbons on oak trees?

Our next stop was the Asakusa Kannon, the biggest Buddhist temple in Tokyo.

The devout wrote their prayers on paper, then rolled and tied them up onto a string as offering.

Joining the throng of devotees

Leading up to the main temple, there were stalls selling food and souvenirs. I loved watching one lady make takoyaki. She’d pour the batter onto a hot mold and flip the balls deftly with chopsticks to cook the other side.

As we were about to leave the temple grounds, I saw a Buddhist nun. I asked to have my picture taken with her and she obliged.

View over Western-style lunch. Nice break from Japanese food!

Steak and hash brown

Fish and shrimps

Dessert plate

Tokyo Bay cruise after lunch

View of Fuji Broadcast Center in Odaiba from the boat

Our final stop was in the city of Odaiba, a high-tech urban area with lots of elevated walkways. It was built on reclaimed land. It’s a wonderful place for young people (read: teenagers) to hang out. The Statue of Liberty in the background was, like New York’s, a gift from the French government.

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