In early March last year, when the winter has faded out but yet spring hasn’t show its face, I spent several weeks living in Japan. It was my first time stepping my own feet in the country and no doubt, I was beyond excited given the fact that I could experience a new culture in another part of the world.
I did observe things during my stay. I watched how people interact with each other, how they behave, how they do things.
This post is not going to be a travel guide or a food review. It’s more like a photo essay, when I put my photos from Japan here with a short description for each one. Just simply because…
I want you… to see what I saw.
Arrived safely at Japan. It was drizzling and the cold weather sort of made me excited. How I wished the snow would fall once again. If only I went there two weeks earlier, I would have been able to play with it.
During cold season, Ramen is what you need. Nothing beats a big tasty bowl of warm Ramen on a cold Tokyo city. Plus, hot Ocha on the side.
Or if the cold doesn’t even bother you, Japanese soft ice cream might be your best buddy during the season. It doesn’t melt as fast that you can lick it slowly.
Senso-ji, or people just simply call it Asakusa Temple. It was crowded there. And there were so many shops selling souvenirs and snacks along the Street.
The Giant Lantern at Asakusa Temple. A mandatory symbol you should take your picture with. I received a postcard with this lantern picture on it from Nunu just a year before I went there.
Sumida Park, a riverside park which take place just along the side of Sumida River. The river itself is around several hundred meters long.
Pigeons at Sumida Park.
A small railway station in Tokyo. It is crazily crowded during peak hours.
Tokyo Skytree Tower, the new landmark of Tokyo.
Fresh sushi for dinner. I’ve lost count.
It is a custom in Japan to remove our shoes just right after entering a house. The area for removing our shoes is called Genkan (玄関). it’s normally lower than the main part of the house. After removing your shoes at the genkan, you have to use the slipper. And… when you enter the bathroom, you’ve got to remove your slipper and change it with another slipper called the bathroom slippers. Too much for a slipper rules, eh?
Meiji Shrine. A shrine with huge area or park in the middle of the busy city.
Shinto Wedding at Meiji Shrine
Nakamise-dori Street, the street that run along the way to the temple in Asakusa. Souvenirs shop are lining up offering so many kinds of goods.
Ema, a wooden plaques on which the Shinto write their prayers on. The ema will then be hung up at the shrine, wishing that the gods receive them.
Matcha Powder. Take a scoop of it, add hot water, stir, and drink. This one is from a sushi bar I went.
Yoyogi Park. It’s another thing you wouldn’t expect to be in the middle of the busy Tokyo city. There are people dancing, doing street performance, jogging, lying at the grass, and even taking a photo shot session.
Street Performance at Yoyogi Park. I sat there for quite a while just for watching them.
We were lucky to find Cherry Blossom trees which bloomed early.
The famous Harajuku street. It’s packed up with people!
There are countless matsuri (祭) held in Japan. There are Girl’s Festival, Boy’s Festival, New year festival, Sport Festival, 7-5-3 festival, and the lists go on and on. This one is Hina-Matsuri (Girl’s Festival). It was held at the second day of me staying in Japan. Girls usually eat Chirashizushi and some kind of special soup in this very special day, and also a cake.
Japanese Traditional Game. You’ve got to get your eyes closed and try to assemble the part of the faces (nose, eye, brows, etc) at the right place.
Classic Music Performance at Sumida Park
Night life at Akihabara. It’s a district in Tokyo considered to be an otaku center and also a shopping place for games or electronic things.
A lovely Japanese waiting for someone at the train station.
Daruma, a traditional Japanese wishing doll. When you buy it, you make a wish and draw an eye on it. You can draw another one if your wish has been accomplished. It sort of keeps us focus on achieving our goals, nothing really spiritual.
AKB48, the famous Japanese idol group consists of 48 members, Cafe and Shop. AKB stands for Akihabara (or Akiba for short), where the theater is located.
Inside AKB48 Shop in Akihabara
Akihabara at night. It is bright, loud, and busy.
Daibutsu (Big Buddha) at Kamakura. This 13.35 meters high status is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, after the one at Todaiji Temple, Nara.
Water Place in front of the shrine. Cleaning our hand and mouth before entering a shrine is mandatory. There are some steps to follow.
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, located at the Port of Yokohama. It was once used as a warehouse but now the building has shopping mall and a hall in it.
A Temple uphill.
Japanese Masks, now commonly used for a traditional theater performance. There a numerous amount of different masks which were influenced by the prehistoric myths
Beautiful park inside a temple.
Yokohama-kō, The Port of Yokohama which is the second largest city after Tokyo.
A child waiting for the train to come
A modern ramen stall. Quick dinner, anyone?
A lady walking at Yoyogi Park
A long…. empty road. Not the one I usually find in my country.
Two of my friends (Megumi Kashiwagi & Karina Novita) suggested me to buy some crepes at Takeshita street, Harajuku. Our crepes look awful, I know. But it was definitely the one I treasured the most during the day.
Owakudani Valley – an active volcanic valley in Hakone area. We walked the the top and saw Mt. Fuji from up there. We were quite lucky as the weather got worse just 10 minutes later and the Mt. Fuji was like… gone. It’s kinda tricky to catch a pic of it and I failed miserably.
Another Japanese Temple at Kamakura.
Shinto Shrine at Hakone.
There are a number of boats and even ferries crossing the Ashinoko (Ashi Lake). The one we took was a Pirate Ship. The ship took us from Moto-Hakone port to Togendai port.
Lovely Red Tulip I found at a local supermarket
Fresh salad is always provided, as an appetizer
The infamous Harajuku Station
A couple of Japanese holding hand while walking around Shibuya area.
And as far as the eye could see, there was the sheer beauty of nature in every corner of the country.
It was an unforgettable trip for me. And I wish that I could come back, anytime again later.
Anyway, it’s 2015 already!
I’m wishing everyone a happy new year. May more surprises and adventures come to you.
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