Thursday, November 23, 2006

Meiji Shrine & Harajuku

Photo by Norikazu Yamaguchi

Photo of Tokyo street scene by Fuji Film staffers

"Meiji-jingu is probably the finest shrine in Japan and well worth a visit."--Ian McQueen

Meiji Jingu -- Meiji Shrine & Harajuku

Indeed the quietest section of the whole city and one of the most traditional is Meiji Shrine.It is a Shinto shrine within a cypress forest. The entrance to the shrine is near Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line and Meiji-jingu-mae Station on the Chiyoda Line. You can catch the Yamanote Line from Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya, or Ueno Stations.

The shrine was built in honor of Emperor Meiji, who is famous for modernizing Japan. On New Year`s Day over 1 million people come to Meiji Shrine to pay their respects and enjoy the gardens and quiet. After visiting Meiji take a stroll down Omote Sando, the main street of the Harajuku area.

Near Meiji-Jingu is Harajuku, the most European area of Tokyo, with broad lanes filled with leafy trees and interesting European inspired architecture. Shops range the gamut from fashion, antiques,toys to hobbies. Many great restaurants are in the area too. Along with Shibuya, Harajukuis also one of the most popular areas for young Japanese.

The Cos-Play Zoku

Show off their wacky outfits and Gothic stylemake-up at Harajuku`s Jingu Bridge area. Manyof these girls are bullied at school and thisis their way of expressing themselves, and getting away from it all on the weekends. It is worth a look to see yet another side of Japan, the one they don`t show in the government approved tourist books.

Sometimes there are interesting flea markets too in the area.

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