Date: 29th March 2015
My morning was spent sighting cherry blossoms aplenty — first at the
East Gardens of the Tokyo Imperial Palace followed by a visit to the impressive Shunjuku Gyoen. From Shinjuku Gyoemmae station, I had to get to Harajuku station now.
I could see the famous Takeshita street from the Harajuku station platform
I don’t know if it was because it was a Sunday or not, but it took a while to get out of the station. There was a whole swarm of people going in either direction.
First up, a quick visit to Meiji Shrine
Along the way were these displays of wine barrels on one side
… and barrels of sake on the other side. These barrels of sake and wine (from France) were all gifts to the emperor of the Meiji era
I’m sure they’re empty now, but they do make for an impressive display
It’s nearly a kilometer before you get to Meiji Shrine
But I got there after nearly 20 minutes of walking
That’s Meiji Shrine — one of the most famous Shinto shrines in Japan
There was a flurry of excitement when we were witness to a traditional Japanese wedding. The procession was led by two priests, followed by the couple, and finally family and friends.
To be specific, this was a procession of a Shinto wedding
The procession then moved on to a private hall for further marriage rituals
Unlike Indian weddings, the whole affair was very, very quiet. The only noise came from excited tourists and some Chinese tourists who were quite adamant in following the procession to take photos from a closer angle. If you are thinking about doing the same, please don’t — it’s rude and quite inconsiderate. The guards at the hall eventually had to shoo them away.
The priests. There was another wedding party waiting their turn inside that hall in the back.
I walked around Meiji Shrine some more
Unlike other old temples across Tokyo, Meiji Shrine is relatively ‘new’. It opened it’s doors in 1920.
It was time to head back
I walked back at a quicker pace
The Grand Torii
Back out again, I walked towards Yoyogi park next. That structure is the iconic Yoyogi Gymnasium.
I chose to visit Harajuku on a Sunday because it’s when pop culture groups of all kinds hang out at various spots across Harajuku and Yoyogi park
By far the coolest were these Rockabillies — guys dancing to 1960s rock’n’roll.
It was such a joy to see an American pop culture that is hardly around even in America!
I wondered for how many years these guys have been dancing at Yoyogi Park on Sundays
Here’s a brief video:
There were all sorts of fashion on display — from Gothic Lolita to anime cosplay
It was all amusing to witness for the ‘regular’ folk
I went inside Yoyogi Park but had no intention of walking around another park for long. I had seen enough cherry blossoms for today.
Cosplayers were all enjoying the cherry blossoms too
Oh, ‘she’ is a he
I don’t know what characters these youngsters were cosplaying as
I walked back out and walked across a bridge when I heard some thumping music playing in the distance.
It was an open dance concert
Does this happen every Sunday or just because of Hanami (spring) season? None the less, it was cool to see
Seemed like mostly local DJs
There was another area where a stage was setup playing some trance music
The music got me grooving for a while:
It was a festive atmosphere all around
Even the dogs were out to have some fun
Not a bad way to enjoy the end of the week (and weekend)
I walked back across the bridge
Under the bridge were more youngsters doing all sorts of things, like these two girls practicing a dance routine
It was time to leave Yoyogi Park and see what else Harajuku is famous for
Next post(s) in this series:
Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street
Japan 2015: Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?
Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park
Japan 2015: Rikugien garden’s weeping cherry blossom tree
Japan 2015: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise
Japan 2015: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza
Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo
Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport — and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time
Previous posts in this series:
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen
Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms at Tokyo Imperial Palace east garden
Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River
Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple
Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and exploring Kabukicho
Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku — views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck
Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog
Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more
Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom
Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo — and my last bullet train ride
Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show
Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion
Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto
Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza
Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba
Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time