Saturday, May 23, 2009

Walk in Tokyo: Yasukuni Jinja and Kitanomaru Koen

Last time in Japan, this is March, I had time for some nice strolls in areas I did not know in Tokyo. This time I will talk about a nice walk in real downtown (Chiyoda). I went out of the metro near Yasukuni Jinja, visit the shrine, went to Kitanomaru Koen, and head for Ochanomizu where I bought a 30-liter backpack (Naoko's present) to go to China.

Yasukuni Jinja (靖国神社) is a famous and polemic shrine in central Tokyo. This shrine is one of the biggest and nicest in Tokyo, but there are some War World II Japanese military men enshrined here. Therefore, it is quite polemic. Japan invaded many Asian countries before and during WWII and anything related to that topic is a source of polemics in Asia. Anyway, I wanted to go there and I will opt out of any political/historical comments :)

The shrine itself is quite nice. Or better said, the environment is pretty nice: very large torii at the entrance and open spaces.

I could even see some girl wearing kimono, which is always nice! ;)

Can you see the Imperial Chrysanthemum at the entrance gate? That is the symbol of the Imperial family.

Some nice statue of some famous samurai.

And this is the shrine:

After that visit, I went to Kitanomaru Koen (北の丸公園), which is a park next to the Imperial Palace Gardens (some Japanese think it is just the same park). This park houses Budokan, a famous shows venture in Tokyo. It was almost hanami (花見) season, so many trees were blooming at that time.

After the park, I went back towards Yasukuni Doori and headed for Ochanomizu, where I checked several of the old bookstores and bought a couple of second hand books. Afterwards, I went to the area with many sport/outdoor shops and bought my nice huge backpack which will be my travel companion in the coming years! ;)

Afterward, back to Sendagi for a nice family dinner :)

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