Harajuku, Meiji Jinggu, Tokyo, Japan. Visiting a shrine.



Visiting Meiji Jingu in Harajuku and Yoyogi, Tokyo, Japan
Today I would finally meet Kaori, a lady I'd met while salsa dancing who helped me practice my Japanese in Sydney 2 years ago and I had promised that I would meet her in Japan when I get there.

I got to Harajuku early and walked around the streets for a bit. Another old area but with newer shops. There was even a Snoopy Playhouse as well as a Snoopy Town here so I guessed this was an area for young people.

Just across the road from Harajuku train station was an icecream burger shop! They even had an icecream burger model on display. Interesting!

I went back to the station and a few minutes later Kaori, her husband and daughter Minami arrived. 

It was very hot so we quickly found an airconditioned restaurant to eat in. Unfortunately I made some foreigner mistakes there, which I believe may be considered to be a bit embarrassing, like fighting over the bill! Sorry about that. 

After that we headed to Snoopy Town - a shop solely selling Snoopy things - before taking a walk through Meiji Jingu - a shinto shrine.

There was a large display of sake containers and apparently the containers signified the corporations that have donated to support Meiji Jingu.

To pray at a Shinto shrine you must wash your hands with the wooden ladel by scooping water from the well and pouring it over your hands onto the ground. You must also wash your mouth out by ladelling water into your mouth and spitting it out on the ground too.

You then drop 5 yen into the box near the prayer area and pray, then clap your hands twice (or three times, depending on which area you are in!) and then you are done!

They explained a lot about the shrine to me and we walked around other areas, including the shrine's souvenir shop where we stopped for a drink.

I had a great time but poor Minami was a bit fractious so we kept the day short and didn't have time to talk too much. They plan to move to Australia so hopefully I'll have a chance to catch up with them again.

Afterwards I headed back home, dumped stuff then went to Takashima Times Square to meet with Noriko. We went to a nice Izakaya and ate mozzarella wrapped in nori, fried chicken cartilage and many other dishes with our beer and sake. We sat at the bench in front of the chef which was the first time I'd ever had a meal in that situation, but it was an excellent way to chat. I always find meals where I have to talk to someone across the table uncomfortable so this was definitely an improvement.

They put a glass on a little saucer and poured the sake into the glass until it run over the top and filled the saucer! Then you know for sure that you got a full glass!

Asakusa is a long way from Shinjuku so I had to leave in time to get the last train. Got back to Asakusa and walked the streets again until I eventually found my Hostel. There's a cafe a short walk away from it called Picasso so, as long as I can see the sign for this cafe, I know I'm going down the right street. Got back in time to answer emails before heading to bed.

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