April 27th 2015, I arrived in this Anime city in the early morning, I still clearly remember that day, the day my foot stepped on to the land of the rising sun, and how I wished I could just stay here and never to leave. I stayed in E-Hotel Higashi Shinjuku. The hotel is just beside the Toei Line of Higashi Shinjuku station, and also 10-15 minutes away from the JR Line of Shinjuku station.
Sensōji – Asakusa Kannon Temple
Since Japan was popular for its shrine and temples, I decided to visit one of them in Tokyo, which is the famous Sensōji, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, it is a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. (Checked on Hyperdia to see routes from your origin station to Asakusa).
It is one of Tokyo’s most colorful and popular temples. The legend says that in the year 628, two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, out of the Sumida River, and even though they put the statue back into the river, it always returned to them. Consequently, Sensōji was built nearby for the goddess of Kannon. The temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo’s oldest temple.
When visitors approaching the temple, they will first enter through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), the outer gate of Sensoji Temple and the symbol of Asakusa and the entire city of Tokyo. The 200 meter long shopping district is known as Nakamise, you could find typical Japanese souvenirs here, such as fans, yukata, and also local foods.
If you visit Sensōji Temple, then you might as well check out Ginza. Ginza is a shopping and entertainment district in Tokyo, and it is the most high end, upmarket shopping and restaurant district. The interest point of Ginza includes Ginza Wako, Sony Building, Kabukiza Theater, and many more.
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Besides Sensōji, I recommend you to visit Meiji Jingu Shrine as well. You could reach here by using public transportation. I used my JR PASS and had my stop in Harajuku, then I walked about 20 minutes to reach the shrine. The distance between Meiji Jingu Shrine Entrance and Harajuku stop is around 5 minutes, and 15 minutes between entrance to the shrine.
The shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken in 1920. Entry into the shrine grounds is marked by a massive torii gate, after which the sights and sounds of the busy city are replaced by a tranquil forest.
The approximately 100,000 trees that make up Meiji Jingu’s forest were planted during the shrine’s construction and were donated from regions across the entire country.
At the middle of the forest, Meiji Jingu’s buildings also have an air of tranquility distinct from the surrounding city.
Visitors to the shrine can take part in typical Shinto activities, such as making offerings at the main hall, buying charms and amulets or writing out one’s wish on an ema.
Takeshita Street is a pedestrian-only street lined with fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants in Harajuku. Stores include major chains such as The Body Shop, McDonald’s and 7-Eleven, but most of the businesses are small independent shops that carry an array of styles.
Located directly across from the exit of JR East’s Harajuku Station, Takeshita Street is very popular with young teenagers, particularly those visiting Tokyo on school trips, or local young people shopping for small “cute” goods at weekends.
Have you watched this movie? A story about a dog waited for its master everyday at the train station, without knowing its master has passed away? Hachikō is the name of the dog, and its master was a Professor in a agriculture department in the University of Tokyo. Hachikō died on March 8, 1935, and was found on a street in Shibuya, In April 1934, a bronze statue in his likeness was erected at Shibuya Station.
Each year on April 8, Hachikō’s devotion is honored with a solemn ceremony of remembrance at Tokyo’s Shibuya railroad station. Hundreds of dog lovers often turn out to honor his memory and loyalty. It is very easy to reach here, it is located in Shibuya Station Exit, search for Hachikō Exit, follow the sign and you will find the statue as soon as you get out of the station.
Shibuya refers to a shopping district in Shibuya station, which is also Tokyo busiest railway station. If you would like to do some shopping, then you should come to Shibuya. Shibuya is known as a fashion center in Japan, extremely popular among young people, and it is also a major nightlife area beside Roppongi Hills.
This is the popular photo shooting spot in Shibuya, the most famous intersection outside the station, also known as Shibuya Ekimae Kusaten or Shibuya Crossing. The lights will turn red at the same time in every direction, and when traffic stops completely, the pedestrians will surge into the intersection from all sides, like marbles spill out from the box. There are two buildings of Shibuya 109, one for woman and the other one is for man. If you just walk straight through the street, you will see stores everywhere, mostly restaurants and cafe for chill out, so it was definitely worth a try!
The building complex features offices, apartments, shops, restaurants, a hotel, art museum, observation deck and more. Most expats stay in Roppongi Hills, also bars and pubs are easily found here. You could find many kinds of entertainment in Roppongi, such as cafes or movies, but if you wished for something more Japan or traditional, then you should skip Roppongi Hills from your itinerary.
These memories took place in Spring, April 2015, Tokyo, Japan.