Tokyo Times

The last week has been filled with excitement in the city of Tokyo!

The classic Shibuya crossing.

The classic Shibuya crossing.

Nick-san and I organized five days to study the Japanese gardens and culture of Tokyo.  We hoped this opportunity would stand as a culmination to all that we have learned in Japan thus far.

Our journey began with a three hour trip on the Shinkansen, or bullet train. Once we arrived in Tokyo, we dropped our luggage at the hotel (located in the Shinjuku Ward) and high-tailed it to our first site of interest- Yoyogi Park.

The park is home to Meiji-ingu Shrine which was dedicated to Emperor Meiji and  his Empress in 1920. Surrounding the Shinto Shrine, you will find 100,000 trees which were dedicated in their honor.

Before entering the Shrine threshold, you must wash your hands (and mouth) from impurities.

Before entering the Shrine threshold, you must wash your hands (and mouth) from impurities.

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In the evening, we ventured to Harajuku which is the area best known for the youth fashion, culture and- crepes!

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The following day, we visited Tokyo Universities’ Koshikawa Botanical Garden. We found lovely morning light.

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Then, we walked to Rikugi-en. This garden is named after the six elements in waka poetry and is an example of an Edo period garden.

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Kyu-Furukawa Gardens was the next destination as this property was designed by an English architect. As you can see from the pictures, this garden has characteristics of both English and Japanese gardens.

imageimageimage After all of our walking and visiting of gardens, we rested (sort of) in the electric town known as Akihabara.

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Next up, we traveled to Ueno Park where we found a lake full of past-prime lotus flowers and a beautiful buddhist temple.

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Nearby, we visited Kyu-Iwasaki-tei, which was the residence of the third Mitsubishi president. The property was an interesting fusion of Western style architecture and Japanese interior.

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We stopped for an early dinner and souvenir shopping experience in Asakusa, which provides the ambience of an older Japanese town.

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The last few days spent in Tokyo were filled with the Imperial Palace, Tokyo’s National Museum (the largest museum in the country), and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

The masses of people allowed to enter the Imperial Palace compounds for only a few days per year!

The masses of people allowed to enter the Imperial Palace compounds for only a few days per year!

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Shinjuku Gyoen National Park. Which is the back drop- the Skyscraper or the garden? You decide…

Although the week ended with sore feet, our adventure was full of rich cultural experiences as we navigated our ways through the streets and subway system of the city, dined on native cuisine, and visited historically significant properties and gardens.

 

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