Dr. Chun
Tokyo, Japan

June, 2014

 

The month of June every year has been reserved for a trip to Japan, and 2014 was no exception.  This year, a typhoon was engulfing Japan's islands!  It was raining at Narita airport when I arrived, and it never stopped raining for the next three days.



     
     
013I checked into a hotel in the Shinjuku area.  In the late afternoon, I took a subway to Odaiba and spent the first evening at Oedo Onsen. Oedo Onsen is a hot spring theme park which reproduces the atmosphere of the Japan's Edo Period. Here you can enjoy various types of indoor and outdoor baths.

023Canceled the trip to Hakone in the rain, I decided to visit Yokohama. Yokohama is Japan's second largest city with a population of over three million. Yokohama is located less than an hour south of Tokyo by train. Landmark Tower Yokohama has an observation deck where you can enjoy panoramic views and a leisurely promenade in the sky.
 
033Yamashita Park is a public park in Yokohama, famous for its waterfront views of the Port of Yokohama. 043Strolling through Yamashita Park, it is hard to miss the massive ocean liner in the water beside the promenade. Hikawa Maru  made her maiden voyage from Kobe to Seattle in 1930.  Stayed inside the ship in the rain!
 
053The statue of a young girl with red shoes at Yamashita Park. It represents the subject of a song that is one of the most famous songs in Japan, "Akai Kutsu" ("Red Shoes") 063Back to Tokyo in the afternoon. Roppongi is a home to a couple of striking new museums that are collectively known as the "Art Triangle Roppongi."  The first stop was National Art Center.
 
073Mori Art Museum is located on the 53rd floor of the Mori Tower skyscraper. It is a museum that reflects the special urban flavor of Tokyo through highly ambitious exhibitions at the very edge of contemporary art. 083The Mori Art Museum ticket also includes admittance to the breathtaking viewing platform, Tokyo City View, but no panoramic view in the fog this time.
 
093Next morning, I headed for Meiji Shrine, located in Shibuya. The Shinto shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife.

103A traditional wedding procession at Meiji Shrine — the bride in a white kimono and hood and the groom in his formal black robe, walking together under a big red parasol, with Shinto priests leading the way and the rest of the wedding party trailing behind.
 
113Harajuku refers to the area around Tokyo's Harajuku Station. The focal point of Harajuku's teenage culture is Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street) and its side streets.

123Many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothes stores, crepe stands, and fast food outlets at Harajuku are geared towards the fashion and trend conscious teens.
 
133In Tokyo, the most common way to place your order in ramen restaurants is using a vending machine. A bowl of ramen for lunch! 143Sengaku-ji is a Buddhist temple which holds an annual festival commemorating the 47-Ronin event.
 
153The temple is famous for its graveyard where the "47 Ronin" (also known as Akoroshi, the "masterless samurai from Ako") are buried. 163The Kyū Shiba Rikyū Garden is a public garden and former imperial garden in Minato, Tokyo.  It is an oasis of greenery in the midst of a heavily built-up urban area.
 
173At Tokyo Bay terminal, I took a water bus to Odaiba. 183The Statue of Liberty at Odaiba Island at dusk. Nice to see you again! Do you also see Galden Gate bridge and Eifel Tower?
 
193VenusFort at Odaiba is a shopping mall designed to resemble a medieval European village.  Just window shopping! 203Next morning, I took Narita Express, a fast, convenient, and pleasant ride to the airport.  Sayonara, Tokyo!
 
     
 
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