Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Takeshita-Dori, Harajuka

Once we'd had our fill of calm at the Senso-Ji Temple, I decided we should visit the Takeshita-Dori shopping area.  Lucky we had metro tickets coz it was completely the other side of town!!!  My reason for wanting to see this street is that I had read it was a 'psychedelic abandon, where you'll see French Maids, cyberpunks, rastas... and characters from anime and manga engaged in cosplay - a combination of role-playing and fancy dress'.  Intriguing.......

Well, needless to say, we arrived and it was basically just a trendy shopping street for the youth culture!  Quite disappointing really.  Well, I say disappointing - it was nice - a bit like Carnaby Street in London.  We walked the length of it without really stopping - shopping not really being our thing!  At the other end we reached an area very similar to that of Oxford Street, London - basically the Designer Area; Armani, Burberry, etc.

If you're into shopping this is a great area - unfortunately - it's just not us.

Back on the tube, and back to hotel for a nap (via the co-op equivalent for a sarnie and some washing powder - yes, washing powder!!! - An exciting day in the basement laundry planned for tomorrow).  Couldn't get tickets for the match on Wednesday - disappointing, so now need to decide on something else.

Nap time...... toss up between Tokyo Tower or the high tech elec light area this evening, depends on weather conditions...

Senso-Ji Temple, Asakusa

Up and off out; decided not to bully our feet and instead got an all day metro pass each.

First item on the Agenda - visiting the Senso-Ji Temple; this has to be the most amazing, and dramatic building seen so far.  It's a beautiful shade of burnt red with gold accents, and surrounded by many other smaller shrines, a 5-tier pagoda, and many statues.  Absolutely teaming with people, it's still used as a practising temple; visitors were washing their mouths using the well, then cleansing themselves with incense before entering the temple for guidance.

Col made his offering and took part in a fortune telling ritual; it included donating a coin, shaking a metal container which deposited you with a stick, then having to match the stick to a drawer which contains the fortune paper.   Will decide later on the accuracy of the fortune....

The walkway to the Temple is a massive shopping channel of people selling souvenir gifts and clothing.  It seems a little out of place for such a calming religious spot, but worked in harmony nonetheless.

A bad night

OK... so we live and learn..... the spicy Korean food was not agreeable - and that's all we have to say on the subject!!