It’s the 4th day already, and sadly it’s the last day for us in Tokyo! In this opportunity, we’ll be exploring a bit about the city. But since it’s our last day, it means that today we checked out from our hotel and needed to put them in a locker before today’s adventure. Okay, we have already known that finding an empty locker at this time was an adventure itself, and guess what? All of them are full! Even the big ones we searched for. But when we’re outside of Shinjuku Station and are confused as to what to do, we’re approached by a couple of elderly volunteer asking what’s wrong. Oh my I was so touched. After we explained our situation, they told us that there’s one other place that we can go, and it’s the Tokyo Tourist Information Center, located in the building’s 3rd floor.
Okay now, let’s start the journey! Our first stop was Meiji-Jingu, one of the largest shrine located in the heart of the bustling-life of Tokyo. The shrine complex was located right beside the Harajuku Station exit. The complex was adjacent to Yoyogi Park, so no wonder that the area was full of dense trees, making it a perfect place for a relaxing stroll.
It’s quite a long peaceful walk to reach the main complex, approximately 15-20 minutes (if you keep stopping to take a photo along the way, though) until you reach the golden torii gate.
Barrels of Sake Wrapped in Straw — During the Meiji Era, Emperor Meiji, whose divined soul enshrined here in Meiji Jingu, led the industrial growth and modernization of Japan by encouraging various industries and supporting technological development. Due to their grace and virtue, Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken, the beloved mother of our nation whose soul is also enshrined here, are held in the highest esteem by the Japanese people. The sake barrels are offered every year to the enshrined deities by members of the Meiji Jingu Nationwide Sake Brewers Association, including the Kotokai, which has made offerings of sake for generations, as well as other sake brewers around Japan wishing to show their deep respect for the souls of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.
Upon passing the golden torii gate, visitors need to go through the main gate to reach the Main Shrine Complex. But they can also buy some charms and amulets at a small shop before the gate.
Ema — A votive tablets for special personal prayers and gratitude toward the deities enshrined in Meiji Jingu Shrine are offered for 500 yen apiece. Hung the Ema around the divine tree with wishes written on the reverse side. These Ema are offered at Mikesai, the morning ceremony held every day, and the supplications are conveyed by the priests.
One thing I noticed that apparently there are some kind of etiquettes when visiting Meiji Jingu Shrine. You can see the full information here. Also, local people seems to visit them in the morning before they begin their day, as I can see some employees stopped by in a hurry before going to the office.
After the relaxing stroll, off we go to Shibuya! Upon coming out via the East Exit, we’re greeted by Gindaco Takoyaki! One of the best takoyaki shop in Tokyo. But sadly we’re quite full at that time, and chose to buy their Taiyaki instead. The taiyaki is quite good! Crispy pastry and creamy creme filling. Yum!
After some quick snack, we’re going for a walk around Shibuya. It’s so much fun! Lots of tall buildings with large neon advertisements on it, plus there are many fashion stores and various types of food shops.
Continuing our journey, we noticed a simple-and-minimalistic looking snack shop called Croquant Chou ZakuZaku on Harajuku’s Takeshita-dori (P.S. The name ZakuZaku was based on a sound people makes when munching on the choux. Weird but quite true, huh?). We chose to try their signature menu, Croquant Choux. And sweet mother nature, it’s really delicious! Its choux crispiness, and creamy custard filling taste so heavenly!
It’s getting cloudy and since it’s noon already, we decided to have lunch at a local ramen shop nearby. Much to our surprise, as we finished having our lunch and stepped outside the shop, the snow was falling down! We’re so excited since it’s the first time we saw snowfall.
As we continue to stroll along Takeshita-dori, we realized that we need to buy something for us to munch on while exploring the rest of Shibuya, so then we stopped by Calbee Plus to try their infamous freshly-baked potato chips!
Next, I think it’s time to visit our LINE Friends up at LINE Store! The place was full of all kinds of LINE knicks and knacks, and also the life-sized (and pretty BIG sized) characters! All of them are so cute and pretty, but too bad they’re kind of pricey. It’s okay though, at least I can take a pic with Brown & Cony!
After having fun at LINE, we took the train to Shibuya to meet our dear friend, Hachikō! Since Shibuya Station has a lot of exits, make sure you get out from Hachikō exit and you’ll find him right outside! Or else you’ll wind up circling the station like we did (LOL). If you’re not familiar with Hachi, you can read the story about him here.
Behind Hachi is actually the infamous Shibuya Crossing! As an Instagram user, we tried to make that one Instagrammable pic in the crossing, and well apparently we failed miserably.
If you want a better perspective of Shibuya Crossing, you should go to Starbucks Tsutaya at QFRONT. Perfect place to catch a breath while sipping up some hot coffee in this cold weather!
At last, our adventure in Tokyo had to end this afternoon, as we had to catch our train to Fujikawaguchiko. Since it’s already noon and the trip took two hours, guess we should buy a dinner-to-go!
Because the train’s coming, we’re looking for something ready, and luckily we found RF1 Sozai! This place specializes in healthy, clean eating, judging by its wide range of salads, sushis, juices, and other healthy menus. Despite all of the healthy-eating temptation, eventually we ended up buying Shrimp Katsu and Fish & Chips.
And that concludes our journey in Tokyo. Be back soon to tell the tales about Fuji!
Day #4. Expense
- Luggage Locker (2 x ¥800) = ¥1600
- Gindaco’s Taiyaki ¥210
- ZakuZaku’s Croquant Choux ¥250
- Calbee Plus’ Potato Chips ¥330
- Lunch (Ramen) ¥900
- Dinner (RF1) ¥928
- Mineral Water ¥432
- Ticket to Fujikyu Highland Station (2 x ¥1140) = ¥2280
- Top Up Suica (2 x ¥1000) = ¥2000
Total Day #4 Expense : ¥ 8930
*Please note that the amount above exclude shopping and souvenirs expense