Tokyo and its Surroundings
Located near the train station, Takeshita Street is the area's main attraction. It is a small pedestrian street always crowded that we cross following the rhythm of the crowd. There are many small stores and a few ice cream or pancake merchants. We mostly meet young people walking around with friends in search of a pair of sunglasses, a hat or gothic clothes.
On weekends, Harajuku welcomes a multitude of young Japanese with a totally quirky style. We meet fans of cosplay (manga) or visual kei (gothic). They mainly congregate on the bridge between the train station and Yoyogi Park and are generally happy to be photographed.
Located near the Harajuku train station, Yoyogi Park is one of the largest parks in Tokyo. What is now Yoyogi Park was, on December 19, 1910, the site from which the first plane took off in Japan, a French Farman plane piloted by Captain Tokugawa. The site later accommodated the residences of American officers during the post-war occupation. In 1964, the site was chosen for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, then in 1967 was transformed into a park. Today, thousands of Japanese and tourists walk there every day in the shade of tall trees. Passing through the park is a compulsory path to access the Meiji Jingu.
Saturdays and Sundays you can come and listen to a multitude of groups with different styles playing in the main street that runs along the park. Some come to dance the Twist or the Rock'n Roll, others go skateboarding or simply come to have a picnic. Guaranteed atmosphere.
THE MEIJI JINGU
Sunk in the middle of Yoyogi Park, Meiji Jingu Temple or Meiji Shrine is a Shinto temple, built in 1920 in the middle of an artificial forest in honor of the Meiji Emperor and his wife, Empress Shoken. On March 9, 1945, the sanctuary was burnt down in an air raid. The current buildings date from November 1958.
The sanctuary is made up of three areas:
- Naien: the inner wall with the main buildings
- Gaien: the outdoor area including the gardens which include Yoyogi Park and Jingû Gaien Park and commemorative buildings: museum, restaurants, souvenir shops
- Kinenkan: the Meiji Memorial building
The whole covers 71km² and has nearly 120,000 trees of 365 different species.