At some point about 9 months ago my parents and I decided it would be great for them to meet me in Japan on my way back to the States since they visited SE Asia only a few years ago. I arrived in Tokyo and made my way on one their numerous subway/rail systems to the hotel in the Asakusa neighborhood. Everyone was very helpful and willing to help which is something I had heard about the Japanese people. In fact even if they can’t help they feel obligated to try and help so it’s important to tell them that you can find the information if they can’t help or else they will stay with you from start to finish.
On our first full day together my parents and I went to the Meiji shrine (also a brand name of dairy products, including the yogurt I ate everyday for breakfast in Thailand). It is important for visitors to “cleanse” themselves before entering the shrine. There is a water fountain area outside where they will use a scoop to sip some water and then spit it out in a separate area. They will also wash their hands. We witnessed a wedding as a whole parade of people made their way into the shrine area. The bride dressed in a kimono. There is a garden on the premises as well that is probably beautiful in spring. Large sake barrels were outside of the shrine no meant as an offering. They were beautifully decorated.
Across the street is Takeshita Street home to the Harajuku style of dress. This is a very unique style of dress that Gwen Stefani has brought to the attention of many Americans through songs and use of Harajuku girls in her music videos. They have frills in their hair, platform shoesm and short skirts.
In the Asakusa area there is the famous Asakusa Kannon Temple featuring its signature big red lantern that is especially beautiful when lit up at night. The temple is home to a statue that was found in the river. The fishermen who found it tried to put it back in the river but it kept reappearing so it was housed in the temple.