The lucky charms in Japan can usually only be obtained at the shrines.
They are usually categorized by the area of your wish such as “prosperous business”, “successful study”, “well-being of family”, "ward of evil" “fulfillment of love or wish for finding a partner”, etc.
The small shrine in Ueno park charges 700 yen per charm whereas the bigger shrines like Meiji-Jingu Shrine charges 800 yen per charm.
I was fascinated by how they look and i was touching each one of them but I later regretted it coz I think they didn't like me touching so many of the charms. I accidentally dropped one of the charms and put it back hastily and the lady quickly took the charm that I dropped, went to the back, did some cleansing ritual on it (I think) and put it back on the display. She wasn't smiling.
I felt bad... but oh well... I didn't know!
This red charm in the picture was the the one I bought for my sister, she requested for it!
I pay a visit this shrine once a year with my wife since I got married.
It has a huge precinct with woods and the long approach to the main shrine. You will forget you are in the center of Tokyo in the walk through the approach.
The Yasukuni Shrine is not an outstanding shrine except for the fact that 2.5 million war heroes are enshrined there. Among those are also 14 war criminals from WWII. In the past prime minister Koizumi has visited the shrine several times and is everytime evoking hatred from Japan's neighbouring countries Korea and China. This is the major reason for its fame.
How to get there: Take the Tôzai or Hanzomon subway line to Kudanshita station.
KAMINARIMON (The Thunder Gate) is the main entrance of Senso-ji / Asakusa Kannon. With passing through this gate, you will walk along the approach with suvenir shops along it to the main temple.
Fondest memory: The kanji on the red lamp is written KAMINARIMON (Thunder Gate) in Japanese.
Above the red lamp, on the board is written KONRYUSAN (Golden Dragon Mountain).
A mountain when in a temple means the head quater.
There is a silly story. As you can see on the pic, the lamp is a little bit folded on the bottom of it. The lamp on the pic is renewed some last year. The investor was the local merchants society. They planned and ordered the new lamp bigger than it used to be as making a wish for the more prosperity of the town. But... when they changed the lamp to the new one... hanged it... they found that the lamp was too big so people can reach and hit on their head with the bottom of it when they pass under the gate. Too poor...
Ok, Zojo-ji is not too famous among travellers, but, see the pic, this may be what you visitors expect for Tokyo, right? Temple and the symbolic tower with the adorable cherry blossoms...
Come in the middle of April. You may view the SAKURA at its peak. Nowhere else in Japan has such a complete / complex view. It's perfect.
Tokyo is a city of modernity, but, few would have guess that an older part of town offer a more relaxed and gentle way of life.
If you have time, run down to the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. There is a 300meter long street leading to the temple where small stalls sells everything imaginable. Particularly interesting are the street tidbits like baked, animal cakes and rice crackers made on the spot.
Along the streets leading away from the temple, you can also find many quaint shops selling all kind of stuff. Kill time here by walking in this area.
Fondest memory: I love the culture and the politeness of the people here.
Fondest memory: Despite the fact that Yasukuni-jinja Shrine was built for memorial of those died for Meiji imperial restoration and later tose died in war, locals worship these spirits as "god" and posted up lotsa Wishing Boards. This is wishing World Peace however giving a support to the shrine's name which means "country at peace".
Fondest memory: Japan's most controversial shrine. Class-A war criminals of World War II are enshrined here. Despite of objections from other countries, Japanese politicians still make a habit to visit the Shrine on the anniversary of Japan's World War II defeat.
Harajuku is an interesting place. My Jap friend told me it is a place mainly gather "Inaka mon" (people from small villages).
However, there is a quiet and holely area just next to Harajuku station - Meiji Jingu.
Fondest memory: Tokyo is an exciting city. Combination of East and West, traditional and modern.
Besides, the complex railway network and the crowd also as one of the symbol of the city.
Favorite thing: And here is another beautiful contrast between tradition and modernity. A big budhist bell is under the traditional roof. Thousand of clerks were under the new building roof. It should be for them that the bell tolls...
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