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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

 Time to go around TOKYO. On our third day of vacation in TOKYO, we went around the CITY for a little TOUR. 

We met up with two of our tour guides. One of my tita contacted them to arrange a simple tour. You see, there are tour organizations that are present in Japan that provide FREE CITY TOURS. Yes free!!! All you have to do is inform them of your itinerary and the things you want to visit. You only pay for their lunch and transportation for the day. Quite a bargain if you ask me.

We met with our tour guides in the lobby of our hotel. Both are quite moderate user of the English language so we were able to chat with them. 
We then bought tickets for our unlimited use of the train for our city tour.
Something like this.
Remember though, this is only for the government owned train lines. Don't bend nor fold these because you might have a hard time using it.
Our first stop was the Tsukiji Honganji Temple. We just passed by it because we were on our way to Tsukiji Market. (5 things to do in Tsukiji Market Click Here).
You see religion in Japan is quite different. This particular Buddhist temple houses certain pilgrimage artifacts of some popular people in Japan's History.

After going to Tsukiji Market, we made our way to ASAKUSA. We were there to be able to check out Senso-ji, Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple.

Before that, we went over to the tourist center of ASAKUSA and checked out the view from the top.
Here, you could see the TOKYO SKY TREE in the middle and the headquarters of Asahi, and the "Flaming Ornament" the gold thing on the right.- Asahi Super Dry Hall.

On the other side, you are able to see the way towards the SENSO-JI
That long street is the way towards the temple. It is lined up by different Japanese Stores that cater to both Japanese and tourist alike.

This is what it looks like at the ground.
They have stores that have snacks and also souvenirs like these masks.

and of course a mandatory selfie infront of the shrine's gate.
and one in front of a Sakura tree which are abundant in the area.

Going in the shrine itself, you could pass by this huge booth that works like a fortune teller.
You get a number from the metal box and get the corresponding paper that has the prediction. Remember each one is 100 Yen.

Like this. If in case it says something bad, you need to put the paper in space provided and pray for something different.

Before going in the main temple building. You need to wash away all the evil through this holy water. According to our guides, you need to wash both your hands and also wash your lips with the water.

The inside of the temple was quite impressive. There are places to light candles and burn incense. Also, you could drop some money in specific places and pray for your thoughts.

Around the area, there are a lot of good places to eat. We settled in a place to get some Japanese Pizza or Okonomiyaki. Like this one.
 We were seated in the second floor. Take note, you need to leave your shoes in the lockers provided. 
Thankfully it was tourist friendly. It has an English menu like most restaurants in Tokyo. 
 It also teaches how to do the Okonomiyaki.
 We just let the staff do everything for us. 

We had the Pork, Chicken and Noodle version.
I enjoyed the noodle version!
  Condiments are also present to make the experience better. Oil, Sweet sauce and bonito flakes.

Outside, we saw this vendor.
He was kind enough to let us try and carry his kart but it was freaking heavy. I was only to lift it a few inches from the ground. Imagine a small guy carry such around the neighborhood. 

He sells desserts like this:
It was like a pancake with a sweet bean filling.

Since we ate a lot, we figured a long walk was needed. We headed to the MEIJI SHRINE.

But first, we passed by TAKESHITA DORI. It was a fashion street that specializes in different fashion style of the Japanese teenager. The area is better known as HARAJUKU
It was a long walk. We also passed by a lot of high end fashion stores.

At last we made it to the MEIJI SHRINE.
Our guides informed us that the shrine itself closes at 5pm so we had to double time.

From this gate, we passed by a lot of interesting stuff.
Like these Sake barrels. Blessed and getting ready for the next season.

And a Shrine Maiden. Familiar from all the Anime I used to watch.

You may also want to write down your wishes on these boards.
Take note, you are not allowed to take a picture of the shrine itself.

After a long day, we finally called it quits. At a few minutes pass 5, our guides left us.

Going around the city was an interesting adventure. I realized why the Japanese had a great culture and history. Their etiquette is quite impressive. They are really friendly to tourist and would try to help you to the best they can. They may not speak English that well but they sure are hospitable. 

Time to plan for the next Tokyo Trip. Cheers.

Tokyo City Tour.

Disclaimer: Paid for our meals and trip. Wrote this based on my experience. 
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Written by Lovely

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