Asakusa Kannon Temple

Tokyo Overview

The Imperial Palace East Gardens  
(Kokyo Higashi Gyoen)

The Imperial Gardens SlideShow
The Imperial Palace (Kokyo)is only open to visitors twice a year (Only on January 2 in celebration of New Year's and on December 23 the Emperor's Birthday), so we were not able to visit the palace itself, however, the east gardens are open year round. They are spectacular. Unfortunately we only had a very limited amount of time to explore the gardens, but I tried to recrod as much as I could on film.

Takeshita Street in Harajuku


Harajuku Slideshow
"Harajuku" refers to the area near the Harajuku train station. Harajuku is perhaps best known for its outrageous fashions and interesting people! For this reason my slideshow begins with photos of some of the people I met there. You will notice that a number of them are wearing unusual clothing. This clothing style is collectively known as "gothic lolita". Read more about it in my fashion pages!

Shinjuku Central Park  
(Shinjuku Chuo Kouen)

Shinjuku Central Park Slideshow
Shinjuku Central Park is located within walking distance from my hotel. On my first morning in Tokyo I went for a walk around the park with some members of the June 2007 JFMF cohort.

Within the slideshow you will notice pictures of the homeless camp, which can really be described as a tent/cardboard home neighborhood. I never realized the extent of homelessness in Japan until I visted this park. It is still remarkable to me how neat and clean it was. Additionally, in the slideshow you will notice that people can leave their bicycles within the camp unlocked, with no fear of them being stolen. Amazing.

Additionally, I have included pictures of the Kumano Shrine (Kumano Jinja), which is located within the park. This was the first shrine I vited in Japan.

Tokyo is a huge city that consists of many different places to see. Here is a collection of photo galleries of some of the places I have seen. A photo of Tokyo Tower heads this page on the right as it is one of the most common landmarks people think of when they think about Tokyo.

Tsukiji Fish Market
(The Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market)

Tsukiji Fish Market Slideshow
The Tsukiji Fish Market, known more formally as the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, is an incredibly busy place! It is a HUGE fish market and auction. Outside of the auction there are many booths that sell not only fish, but vegetables, trinkets and more! 

Most tourist guides will advise you to go early in the morning and I will tell you the same. Additionally, I would advise you to go on the morning of you first day or two, while you are still adjusting to the time difference. What else is there to do when you wake up at 4am? In the first slide you can see how tired we are starting out.

Be sure to stop by one of the nearby sushi restaurants to sample some of the freshest fish you will have anywhere. We had an AMAZING breakfast! Also... wear clothes you can easily clean! You can see from the last two photos that your pants and shoes will get very dirty!

Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu)

Meiji Shrine Slideshow
Many people are often confused about the differences between shrines and temples. Above I have shown you pictures of two beautiful temples, while in this slideshow you will see one of the most famous shrines in all of Japan.

The main difference between temples and shrines is that they are used for very different things. The two main religions in Japan are Shinto and Buddhism. To worship, people visit shinto shrines or buddhist temples. Neither religion is exclusive and many people frequent both temples and shrines. Please visit my slideshow to explore Meiji Shrine!

This "torii" stands at the entrance to Meiji Shrine

Shibuya Slideshow
Shibuya is a very large ward in Japan. It is well known for its nightlife and is a popular destination for young people. 

Its best known landmark is the statue of the loyal dog Hachi-Ko. Hachi-ko was said to have waited for his owner at the Shibuya station even after the owner's death. Hachi-Ko is a symbol of deep loyalty.

A Glimpse of Tokyo

Asakusa Slideshow

Asakusa is one of the many places in Tokyo that combine elements of old Japan with modern Japan. Unfortunately we only had one hour in Asakusa, so I made the most of it! In this slideshow you will see photos of the famous Asakusa Kannon Temple, shopping in Asakusa, and photos of a temple I do not know the name of. I think one of the most interesting things is the first photo in this collection. Here you will notice one of the many contrasts between old and new seen all over Tokyo.