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Friday, November 25, 2016

Other Bits - My Japan Trip - Pt 2

Here is my 2nd post on my Japan trip. This post, I will be focusing more on the cultural and traditional elements that make Japan such a unique experience. 

First on my list is the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa and the iconic giant lantern at the Kaminarimon Gate at its main entrance. 
And here, on the other side of the Kaminarimon Gate, there is a pair of giant Japanese slippers on either side of the gate.
From the main Kaminarimon Gate leading into Sensoji Temple is the Nakamise Shopping Street (about 500 meters of shops on either side) where traders get brisk sales from Temple devotees and tourists/visitors alike.What surprised me was that despite the small scale of these businesses, quite a few of them have quite a bit of equipment for semi-automation (as can be seen here)And despite being small businesses, their packaging is still WORLD CLASS (see above)!It was a really windy day when I was at the Sensoji Temple. It was also a real treat to see the girls dressed in Kimonos. The 4 girls were actually speaking Cantonese. I asked if they were from HK but I was wrong. They told me the were from Canton itself.Needless to say, if you're ever in Tokyo, you have to take a picture here.Next is the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda. Obviously we have no access into the residence of Japan's Emperor. So the next best thing is to stand outside and take pictures along with all the other tourists.
The water is clean & crystal clear as can be seen here where I managed to capture a picture of the 2 duckies.And here is what the Imperial Palace would look like if I took the picture with a drone when the Sakura was in full bloom. 
The Bentendo Temple in Ueno. Although its quite small but what makes this temple unique is that it's surrounded all around by floating Lotus plants. Unfortunately, I was here at the start of Winter and they all have more or less withered.
The next photo is not mine but it's what the Bentendo Temple would look like if the Lotus plants weren't half withered up for winter. The Meiji Shrine, located within the SUPER HUGE Yoyogi Park in Shibuya. Thankfully the location of the shrine wasn't that far off from the Yoyogi Park main gate (it only took about 20 minutes to walk there)OK, this picture is to give you an idea just how large Yoyogi Park actually is (taken from the observatory deck at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Shinjuku). I roughly guess it approximates about 10 city blocks in length.
On the way in, there is a wall of liquor barrels that is a sight to behold.   Somewhere along the way into the shrine, there is this 5-Level Pagoda, which is a very good spot to catch a few more nice photos.While I was there, they were performing an official function (Wedding?) or some kind of ritual. So there were many cute little kids in traditional Japanese garb.