Japan Tales- Tokyo Diary 2

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Day 2 in Tokyo started with heading to the center of Tokyo to visit the Imperial Palace- The former residential palace of the successive Tokugawa Shoguns in the Edo Period. The whole palace is surrounded by a water-filled moat and tree-covered grounds filled of Sakura and beautiful gardens inside. In the vast Imperial Palace East Garden stands a stone wall that has been there since the time when the Imperial Palace was known as Edo Castle, a place where samurai warriors lived from the 17th to 19th centuries. Being surrounded by so many trees, the palace is truly an urban oasis.  You`ll spend much of your time looking out over the Marunouchi district admiring the views

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The easiest way to get to Imperial Place is from Tokyo Station. It is only a 15 minute walk where you pass by what looks like the financial/corporate area with people dressed smartly in business attire.

Our next destination was Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine-Meiji Shrine. 11150196_10153297583231584_3771199150622474190_n11119811_10153283028006584_5572659702177975218_n

Dedicated to the late 19th-century emperor who opened Japan to the West this is wonderfully serene and austere shrine. Right next to busy Harajuku, the entire complex is enormous, covering 175 acres that can be both extremely busy and crowded in one area while being extremely peaceful and serene at the same time in another. The shrine is a very beautiful place, especially with its iconic Japanese roofs.

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The 40-foot-high (12-meter) torii gate at the entrance to the 200-acre park is made of 1,500-year-old cypress, and there’s a second one like it closer to the shrine itself. While walking along the path to the shrine you will pass huge barrels of sake on the right side of the path and wine barrels on the other.  The sake barrels are donated every year by Meiji Jingu Nationwide Sake Brewers Association; while the wine barrels have come all the way from the Bourgogne region of France.

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After a long walk inside the shrine we headed our way towards the Harajuku district to check out the Harajuku, Omatesando street which is famous for its street as well as luxury shopping. Takeshita Dori is known for its street shopping where you can get good deals on some international brands whereas for all luxury shopping head towards Omatesando Street where you will get all big brands and their fancy buildings. Here many young Japanese dress in costumes to look like their favorite Japanese rock stars or anime characters.

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Make sure you have sufficient time to spare  when you come to this area because you will easily spend hours shopping and checking out stuff here. There are lots of Duty Free and luxury stores with enough deals  to keep you busy for hours like it did with my friend.

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