Day #3 25/05/14 Sunday
I woke up a bit early, because I had made a schedule to meet Kosuke at 10 AM. I first met Kosuke in Luang Prabang, Laos. I was on my Mekong trip and Kosuke was on his round the world trip at that time. After that, we had a chance to meet again in Jakarta during his visit to Indonesia. I was so eager to hear his stories about his trip, and fortunately he was in Tokyo too during my visit.
So, we made an appointment at Hachiko statue in Shibuya that morning. It's a good meeting point, since it's easy to find, not very large area, so wouldn't be very difficult to catch each other.
|Shibuya Map (http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3007.html )|
Right next to Hachiko statue is the famous Shibuya crossing. At my arrival time, I think I arrived too early to see the crowded crossing, because there were less people than I expected.
After visiting Shibuya crossing, I was thinking about this one thing : Why is Shibuya crossing becoming that famous? I got some thoughts regarding the question :
1. Of course because there are a lot of people. The crossing is surrounded by shopping areas, next to iconic Hachiko statue, tourist destination, and places for locals to hang out.
2. Definitely because people obey the traffic/crossing lights! Then I imagined some crossings in Indonesia : they have the same crowd, but the difference is most people don't obey the crossing lights, so it looks like unorganized outspread ants horde every time x_x.
After that, we went to Harajuku, and took a short walk down Takeshita Dori, The most famous street in Harajuku. It was filled with food stalls (mostly sweet foods and drinks) and fashion stores. I didn't see any people with the famous 'Lolita' or 'Gothic Lolita' cosplay at that time. Again, maybe we were too early.
The good thing about arriving too early was the queue for Marion Crepes was not that long ^^! We had about 15 people on the line, and not so long after that, the crowd had grown to 30 people. Phew! The crepes were mouthwatering! It was sweet but not sickening, and the portion was big enough that we could skip our lunch :p Go for it! It was worth the line ;)
Harajuku map (http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3006.html)
|The Fame Takeshita Dori in Harajuku.|
|Long line for Marion Crepes.|
|I got my delicious crepes!|
We made a visit to Omotesando before going to Meiji-jingu. I tasted some sweet sake at a local shop from Niigata. Actually I'm not good with alcohol, but I was glad that sake was somehow acceptable :D!
Entering Meiji-jingu area indeed was a new experience. It was so green, sacred, and divine place in the middle of a crowded area. Anyway, Kosuke said that word 'ji' is for Buddhist temples, and 'jingu' is for Shinto shrine.
I was also showed some attitudes called Omairi in the Shinto shrine :
1. At the entrance (there are some 'torii', the Japanese gate) Bow respectfully before passing through,
2. Temizu ritual. Wash hands and mouth at the basin provided. Take the dipper with right hand, and scoop water. Wash left hand first, then right hand. Pour water on the cupped left palm then wash mouth, not directly from the scoop. This ritual has meaning that the water cleans your body and mind before entering the Shrine.
3. Approach the shrine to pray. Bow once. Throw coins. Bow twice. Clap hands twice. Pray. Do the last deep bow.
4. Wrote my wishes on 'ema', a small wooden plaque that is hung together with others' emas. I hope my wishes will be fulfilled ^^
I was lucky! There were 3 traditional wedding rituals at Meiji-jingu, during our visit. The bride, the groom and the family member all wore traditional clothes, soo pretty! <3 <3
After visiting Meiji-jingu, I had no idea where to go. Then we had a long walk, until we reached Yoyogi Park. I just knew that there was a Laos Festival! Very Entertaining ! It was funny, since our first meeting was in Laos, and it was kind of nostalgic with Laos thing. All those sticky rice, herb chicken, Lao music! Good old and new friends accompanied with nice food. Life is good!