It’s been a month since my trip to Tokyo. Today I finally have a free day, without work, a terrible cold, house chores, or luggages to pack. So I finished off post-processing of a selection of photos I took and would like to share them with you.
Going to Japan has been a dream since I could remember things – and that was a long time ago. I am not really sure what made me postpone it till now, one reason has to do with the very little time I spend in Asia overall, in addition I felt that I must somehow be prepared when I am letting a dream come true. It’s a complicated feeling I don’t know how to describe.
The trip was very enjoyable from the beginning to the end. Not surprising at all – I appreciated the way that people in Japan handle things, and I think my personality fit in really well, probably better than in most every other country (perhaps that’s too early to say). Originally, I planned to go on this trip by myself, but after announcing my itinerary to my family, mom decided that she wanted to come along. 🙂 In fact, I am not certain whether she was lucky to have me as a tour guide, since I was not planning to hit most of the touristy spots. But on the other hand, at least my itinerary was unique (Eigenlob sti
I experimented with the colors a little bit this time. With some photos, I tried to tweak the colors in a way that they resemble an anime scene. It was fun to see how they turned out. Enjoy browsing!
On the first morning, we took the subway to Kagurazaka (神楽坂). I learnt about this neighbourhood from the TV series 『吉祥寺だけが住みたい街ですか?』. Shrines, cobblestone streets, traditional restaurants and hip cafes, it’s a good combination. This photo was taken at the Akagi Shrine (赤城神社).
Kagurazaka – an Italian cafe that sells shaved ice.
Kagurazaka – restaurants one after another.
Kagurazaka – Honda-yokocho (本多橫丁).
Kagurazaka – man with his dog.
Kagurazaka – coming back to the main street.
We crossed the Konda River, here is a Protestant church. The diagonal crosswalks are such a brilliant idea!
Tokyo Daijingu (東京大神宮).
Kagurazaka – cute storefront everywhere.
After lunch and a bit of shopping, we went to the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi (六本木). The Sky Deck offers a grand view over the Tokyo Tower and its surroundings. I asked the staff when the lights on the tower would be on, he said appr. at 6 p.m., so I decided to wait till then.
Crowds gathering on the other side for the sunset.
Lights are on!! Beautiful concrete jungle. After snapping a few photos, we went inside to check out the art exhibition.
On the second morning, we went to explore the neighbourhood of Zoshigaya (雑司が谷), not far from Ikebukuro (池袋). Again, I learnt about this place from the same TV series. I think we visited all together at least five temples and shrines in Zoshigaya. Pictured here is the Zoshigayaotori Shrine (雑司ヶ谷大鳥神社). After entering a shrine, one should wash their hands and mouth at the Temizuya (手水舎) before presenting themselves to the God (Kami?).
This is a Temizuya where you are supposed to wash your hands and mouth. Be careful, see the kitty? She is checking whether you are doing it right. The statue on the left is Ebisu (恵比寿) – the God of fishermen and luck.
1- scoop water with your right hand and rinse your left hand. 2- hold the ladle in your left hand and rinse your right hand. 3- hold the ladle in your right hand, and scoop some water with your left hand to rinse your mouth (do not put the ladle directly to your mouth). 4- Tip the ladle to let the remaining water rinse it off and place it back. Understand? Meow.
Zoshigaya – we took a break at a coffee house called Kiazuma (キアズマ珈琲). It is located in an old building more than 80 years old. Love the interior, the porcelain, and the greens. We had ice coffee, it was very refreshing on a 30 degree summer day.
In the afternoon, we went from Ikebukuro (池袋) to Harajuku (原宿). There are lots of clothing shops and boutiques, but neither of us was in the mood for serious shopping, so we just passed right through to get to Shibuya (渋谷) around rush hour (!).
And this is the famous Shibuya crossing… I have to admit, it was kind of entertaining to walk on those crosswalks (as a first-time tourist). I crossed in different directions maybe 5 or 6 times. After an hour or so, we were more than ready to get away from the crowds. So we went to Omote-sando (表参道) for coffee at Blue Bottle (had to see this much-hyped coffee shop).
On the third day, we took the train down to Kamakura (鎌倉市) along the coast. First we stopped in Enoshima (江ノ島) and walked around for a little while.
Then we took the Enoden (江ノ島電鉄) train to Kamakura. Taking different types of trains is something I’d always love to do. Enoden, for example, has its own gift shop selling stuff such as Enoden-shaped key chains, Enoden leather bags, Enoden miniature models… I am not crazy, but I like to collect sourvenieurs of trains. In Zoshigaya, an old lady was so kind and gave me stickers of the tram that runs in the neighbourhood (Toden-arakawa line 都電荒川線, which is the only tram remained in Tokyo). One sticker for spring, one for summer, and one for celebrating that the tram has finally got a nickname – Tokyo Sakura Tram! If you like trains, Japan is the place to be.
A minimalistic house.
Taking the Enoden, you can stop anywhere you’d like between Enoshima and Kamakura, there’s something to see in every town. This temple for instance, is situated in Hase (長谷).
On our last day in Tokyo, I went for a walk after breakfast in the neighbourhood we stayed in – Akasaka (赤坂). Despite many office and apartment buildings, the streets were always strangely empty. Whatever they have done to distribute the traffic load, it is apparently extremely efficient.
Then I walked to Roppongi to check out the art museum 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT – the architecture was designed together by Issey Miyake, Taku Satoh and Naoto Fukasawa. I just had to see it.
A part of the museum is a capsule-styled hostel. I am not sure whether it is actually in use (maybe the ones that have the blinds down?), but it does seem to be a beautiful concept.
At last, a collage of a few photos from my phone and my mom’s camera. Thank you, Japan! Now I have to think of places to visit the next time I am there.