PART I | PART II | PART III | PART IV | PART V | PART VI
The most popular questions about Japan were about the Japanese food, unfortunately [for you] I didn’t shot traditional food, but I must admit, that the Japanese food is the most delicious food in the world. Fresh seafood with egg yolk, rice or noodles, tempura, and ramen. I’m writing about the meals and even now it sounds so tasty! But enough with it and back to our journey between Japanese pines and Imperial castles. In Tokyo, we rented small but nice apartment between Shimbashi and Toranomon subway stations, now I understand that our decision was right and we lived in a good place between the History (10 minutes to Edo Castle) and the Nowadays (20 minutes to Roppongi). So on the first “full” day, we went to the most important places for every resident of Tokyo- Imperial Palace, Anime district and the famous shopping street. Of course, during our day-journey, we ate our first real ramen (during the next 15 days I ate a lot of different ramens, but the first one was the best…OK, one of the best…One of the 15 the best ramens).
It’s Toro- traditional lantern made of stone, wood, or metal. During the Heian period (794–1185) toro started being used in Shinto shrines and private homes.
The Sakuradamon gate to the Edo Castle. The gate was completed in 1620.
The Kokyogaien national park and the new Tokyo view. In the park plaza approximately 2000 Japanese black pines are planted in the lawn area. The park was a part of Imperial area and was closed for the public entrance till 1949.
Seimon Ishibashi or Meganebashi (“Spectacles Bridge”) because of its shape, one of the two bridges led over the moats to the Edo Castle.
The second bridge to the Castle is Seimon Tetsubashi bridge (also known as Nijubashi- “Double bridge”).
The Tatsumi-Yagura is a two-storey high keep at the easternmost corner of the Edo walls and the only keep still remaining in it.
Edo Castle walls and the new Tokyo.
Edo Castle (“Imperial castle”) is a flatland castle that was built in 1457. It was the residence of the shogun and location of the shogunate, and also functioned as the military capital during the Edo period of Japanese history.
One of the closed for tourists entrances to the Imperial area in the Edo Castle.
The Public Prosecutors Office.
The classical Japanese bicycle parking.
Shibuya is famous for its scramble crossing. Shibuya crossing is often featured in movies and television shows which take place in Tokyo, such as Lost in Translation, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and Resident Evil. The crossing was featured in the 2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony to promote the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Yes, it’s a well known Hachiko! Hachiko was an Akita Inu breed dog, he is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, for whom he continued to wait for over nine years following his death. Hachiko died on March 8, 1935 at the age of 11 based on his date of birth. He was found on a street in Shibuya (next to the Shibuya station).
In April 1934, a bronze statue in his likeness was erected at Shibuya station, and Hachiko himself was present at its unveiling. The statue was recycled for the war effort during World War II. In 1948, the Society for Recreating the Hachiko Statue commissioned Takeshi Ando, son of the original artist, to make a second statue.
Akihabara district is one of the geeky places in Tokyo. Akihabara gained the nickname Akihabara Electric Town shortly after World War II for being a major shopping center for household electronic goods and the post-war black market.
Nowadays, Akihabara is considered by many to be an otaku cultural center and a shopping district for video games, anime, manga, and computer goods. Icons from popular anime and manga are displayed prominently on the shops in the area, and numerous cosplay restaurants are found throughout the district.
The toy boobs.
Putin, Bond and Trump.
The main Akihabara’s street.
The toy boobs, again.
Ginza district is a popular upscale shopping area of Tokyo, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses located in its vicinity. It is considered one of the most expensive, elegant, and luxurious streets in the world.
Me and Ginza.
Ginza was built upon a former swamp that was filled in during the 16th century. The name Ginza comes after the establishment of a silver-coin mint established there in 1612, during the Edo period. After a devastating fire in 1872 burned down most of the area, the Meiji government designated the Ginza area as a “model of modernization.”
Since the 1960s each Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00 noon until 5:00 pm, the main street through Ginza is closed off to road traffic, allowing people to walk freely. This is called Hokōsha Tengoku or Hokoten for short, literally meaning “pedestrian heaven”.
The “selfie” nation 2.
The “selfie” nation 3.
Akihabara district after sunset.
One of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen is a visual menu in the restaurants. Actually, in Japan, it’s a regular thing, nothing special, but for us, tourists, it’s something new- restaurants they make the models of their dishes from the plastic and the wax and you can understand what exactly you’ll get in your order.
Back to the Shibuya.
Popular entertainment for the tourists and the locals- driving racing cars in the pajamas and video games costumes.
Shibuya crossing at rainy night.