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Monday, February 21, 2011

February 20: Choose Your Own Adventure

Today we went to the Harajuku district of Tokyo. Our initial plan flopped since it was heavily overcast, instead we kind of just went there. Well, it didn’t take long for us to figure out what we were going to do, I spotted an H&M bag on a woman’s arm in the train station. In retrospect I probably shouldn’t have assumed the stranger’s H&M purchase was from Harajuku since I saw her in the train station and she could have been traveling from hours away, but lucky for us that wasn’t the case. After a short couple minutes of walking we saw a tall tower sporting the letters ‘H&M’ on the top! We took some back ally ways keeping our sights on the tower and sure enough we made it!
After making a couple wonderful purchases we needed to reenergize through lunch! Just a block down from H&M was a Kebab place! I haven’t had a Kebab since my trip to Italy in 2007 and Chris hasn’t had one since Mexico ages ago! It was right on the sidewalk, we didn’t know where we were suppose to eat until we found our ‘Kebab Box,’ ha!
Chris and I still didn’t have any direction after lunch so we began to just walk. Like many places in Tokyo, there was an overly crowded alleyway, why not!
The Alley plopped us back out to the train station. Since we were back in the area we figured it was time to take a stroll in the Yoyogi park!
(This is the largest wooden “Torii” of the Myoji style in Japan! It is made out of 1,500-year-old Hinoki {Japan Cypress} from Mt. Tandai-San, Taiwan.)
Despite being an overcast winter day, the garden was breathtaking! Yeah, it’s probably far more enticing when the trees have leaves and the plants have blossoms and flowers but there was something enchanting about the park in this state.
For the first time visiting a shrine we actually found a pamphlet (in English) that went over the rules on how to pay respects at a Shrine, here they are for you:
{1} In appropriate dress, you proceed along the path through the Torii Gate. {2} You rinse your hands and mouth by using water from the stone basin at the place called Temizusha. (the front for ablutions) You should not put your lips to the dipper directly. {3} Then you proceed to the Main Shrine building. You may throw some coins into the Offering Box if you wish. {4} In the front of the Main Shrine, you bow twice, clap your hands twice and bow once again.
Night began to fall and we just weren’t able to move our legs as quickly as before. Chris and I hopped a train and headed for Shinigawa station where we needed to transfer to the Keikyu line, the line that takes us home. Now, what I don’t think I’ve mentioned in the past is that the Shinigawa station is the largest station in Japan! If you’re unfamiliar ( like us) to this station, you just laugh when you’re stranded on a platform without a clue as to which direction to head.
Dinner was at the Thai place off Blue Street. Considering we could hardly walk we knew neither of us would be up for cooking when we got home. I have no idea why we don’t eat there more often. Thoroughly scrumptious!
We came home and started planning our one year anniversary trip! One year already, I know! Crazy! Chris says I never plan anything, it’s not that I don’t like to, I just like surprises. We’ve been wanting to become more cultured in the performance arts and Chris also has been wanting to take me to Canada (I’ve never been!). Well get this, Wicked is going to be in Vancouver, BC the week our anniversary falls on! Tickets go on sale March 3rd! Cannot wait! I must read the book before so I’ll be getting my hands on a copy when we get back to the States! If you have any recommendations or suggestions of places for us to stay for two nights, I’d love to hear them!
Tomorrow we’re going to try the ‘hike!’ The weather looks clear with some showers! Hopefully that means we’ll be able to see Fuji! photo flowerburstsignature_zpsb8a612dc.jpg

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