When I awoke Thursday morning, the first thing on my mind was the nuclear meltdown up north. I immediately called my travel agent and put a Plan B in place (jumping a bullet train to Osaka and flying to Manila). That sorted, I figured I only had a couple days to see Tokyo at most, so I felt rushed and overwhelmed. I was still reeling a bit from how messed up my hasty departure had left things.
|Subway guards packing in the herd|
When you get up the stairs, you can pay any fare difference at the exit gate. This method ensures you never overpay your ticket.
|Painful ramen. I think they meant 'spicy', but maybe not...|
|Cosplay girl in Harajuku|
|Meiji Shrine entrance|
Shinto Shrine CleansingThe main shrine is large and nice enough. It was during the week so it was quiet. Overall though, I guess I wasn't floored by anything. Japanese will go up to the entrance to the inner shrine, then clap, bow, and pull a rope that sounds a gong to alert the spirit, or kami, inside of their presence. I didn't think anyone would appreciate it if I gave it a go, so I bit my lip and kept control of my desire to jump on and swing from the gong rope. Inside the inner shrine are huge Taiko drums, that I also had to refrain from beating on. I was leaving when I noticed a young girl in full kimono coming up the path. I stopped and surreptiously took a few pics on my way out. There's always the risk of getting busted, but its almost impossible to get those kind of pics otherwise.
|On the way to the shrine|
(to be cont.)