A bit of quiet nestled amongst the chaotic mess that is Tokyo.
The walk from my hotel in Shinjuku, to the Meiji Jingu shrine in central Tokyo takes me through narrow streets and across bridges. Tokyo is difficult to navigate by foot, even with the help of Google maps. The roads criss cross each other maniacally, creating a mess of roads with the same name that confuses myself as well as the voice from my phone. At one point she directs me to take an elevator. I am standing in the middle of the road. Did I mention that there are also a whole network of walkways and shopping alleys below ground? Talk about chaotic. I make it eventually though and almost immediately upon walking through the large gates the craziness of Tokyo fades away into the background.
It drizzles slightly as I wander along the straight dirt road through the forest. The trees are tall and the tops sway in the breeze. It is a long walk to get to the shrine. Another gate guards it's entrance. There are stalls selling little fabric charms for all sorts of things: help with studies; finding a partner; even safe driving. There is a step you have to climb over in order to enter the compound. The main square is filled to the brim with people. It is Coming of Age Day, and 20 year olds all over Japan are taking the formal step forward into adulthood. They dress in suits and kimonos and I feel largely underdressed in my jeans, jumper and coat. Later that night I see a local news broadcast about the day, showcasing some of the people I saw celebrating at the Shrine.
The Shrine is beautiful and a nice break for the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. I buy a charm and read some of the (English) wishes hung on little wooden plaques. I wander along the outside corridors lining the square, mostly to get a break from the rain. It soon eases off though and I am able to explore more of the park in peace. I love the atmosphere so much that I end up returning on my last day in Tokyo.
Hi! I'm Louise. I am a writer, photographer, traveler, book fanatic and blogger. I love to post about my adventures and the little things I do that make life fun.