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Day 15: Post-China Adventure – Tokyo

I booked a tour for my last full day in Asia designed to hit most of the tourist spots in Tokyo. I woke up at 7:00 AM and took the subway across Tokyo to meet my tour group.


Our first stop was the Meiji Shrine. It is a Shinto shrine that was built to honor the Emperor Meiji, the Emperor credited with opening Japan to the West in the early 1900’s. The Shinto religion believes in ancestor and natural worship and coexists with Buddhism as a parallel religion.  The shrine is in a man made forest with 365 types of trees that were donated from all over Japan.

Sake barrels at the entrance to the Meiji Shrine

Sake barrels at the entrance to the Meiji Shrine


One of the gates to the Meiji Shrine

One of the gates to the Meiji Shrine


People come here to wish for good fortune, specifically students before big exams

People come here to wish for good fortune, specifically students before big exams


We learned how to properly cleanse our body before entering the shrine. 

We learned how to properly cleanse our body before entering the shrine.


We even saw a traditional Shinto wedding procession. 

We even saw a traditional Shinto wedding procession.


Meiji Shrine

After the shrine, our next stop was the Tokyo Imperial Palace, specifically the East Garden which is open to the public. It was beautiful and reminded me a bit of Central Park.

Imperial East Garden
Imperial East Garden
Imperial East Garden
Imperial East Garden
Imperial East Garden

Then, we headed to the area my hostel was in, Asakusa, to visit the Asakusa Temple or Sensō-ji which is for the Buddhist religion.

Asakusa Temple

Asakusa Temple


Giant lantern hanging from Asakusa Temple

Giant lantern hanging from Asakusa Temple


Burning incense in front of Asakusa Temple

Burning incense in front of Asakusa Temple


Other building in Asakusa

Other building in Asakusa

The area also had many souvenir shops and food stalls. I ate a dessert that was like a cherry paste tempura. It was delicious.

Stalls near Asakusa
Stalls near Asakusa

After the temple, we drove through the Ginza district of the city which is the equivalent of 5th Avenue in New York. Then, we went to lunch at a restaurant on the 12th floor of a hotel with views overlooking the city. The meal was a Western meal, unfortunately, so I had a steak. Then, we went to the harbor for a 50 minute sightseeing cruise of Tokyo.

Sightseeing Cruise
Sightseeing Cruise
Sightseeing Cruise

Then, we went to a lookout point on a man-made island with a very interesting view. Tokyo has a miniature version Statue of Liberty in front of a bridge that looks a bit like the Golden Gate Bridge and you can see Tokyo Tower which is modeled after the Eiffel Tower in the distance!

Sites similar to the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge & the Eiffel Tower all in one shot!

Sites similar to the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge & the Eiffel Tower all in one shot!


Then, our tour ended and I went back to my hostel for 15 minutes before walking to Tokyo’s new TV tower, the Tokyo Skytree.

Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Skytree

I decided to have a tempura dinner next to the Skytree. I was at a restaurant that specialized in fish tempura so I had a shrimp tempura and a squid tempura. I liked the shrimp, but the squid was too rubbery. My dessert was ice cream tempura which was delicious!

Shrimp Tempura

Shrimp Tempura


Ice Cream Tempura

Ice Cream Tempura

After dinner, I went back to my hostel and packed before going to bed.

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