Thursday, March 27, 2014

Japan Golden Week - West Tokyo


Ohayou gozaimasu!  

I woke up early to have advantage of using first the toilet and bathroom, expecting that queue for bathroom will be quite long since we are 15 couch surfers! After bathing, I had an early morning walk around the neighborhood, 

One of the neighbors walking with his pet, first time to see a Japanese Spitz  in Japan!

Some of the neighbors here has this carp fish flag displayed outside the house - Koinbori flag. 

The black carp (Magoi) at the top represents the father, the red carp (Higoi) represents the mother, and the last carp represents the son, with an additional carp added for each subsequent son with color and position denoting their relative age.  It celebrates children's personalities and their happiness, the feast is called  Childrens' Day - a Japanese Festival in Honor of the Birth of Children.  This is one of the holidays celebrated in Japan's Golden Week.

This is the house at Machida where we spent 2 nights with our generous host Anna-san.

Our second day was spent in West Tokyo.  First we visited the largest pedestrian crossing - Shibuya.

Shibuya is famous for its scramble crossing. It is located in front of the Shibuya Station Hachikō exit and stops vehicles in all directions to allow pedestrians to inundate the entire intersection.

Went window shopping around, and comparing prices of garments, it seems still more expensive here than in Singapore.

Our next stop was Harajuku area, along the way we pass by a Gay Parade.

We were dropped along the Harajuku station, 

and we walk towards the Yoyogi Park.

Several performers have their own entertaining acts:

Dance group performers : 

Comedic actors, or Japanese Charlie Chaplin : 

Noticeably, there were plenty of locals bringing their cute pets, mostly are miniature dogs

After the park, we walked towards Takeshita-dori - opposite Harajuku Station, Takeshita-dori is a narrow pedestrian only street packed with young fashionable people and lined with fashion boutiques and cafes.

We also had our lunch here.

One of the highlight of this area are the amusing costumes of the local peoples around the Harajuku area:

The Human Hello Kitty:

The Red Man with a Red Nose while at the Red Light crossing -

They were all generous to allow us to have some photo with them:

That afternoon, we went to Shinjuku area, to have a panoramic view of Tokyo while on top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building - top view of city from 45 flr.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (東京都庁, Tōkyō Tochō) in Shinjuku is often visited by tourists for its free observation decks which provide good panoramic views of Tokyo and beyond. The 243 meter tall building has two towers, and each houses an observatory at a height of 202 meters.

View from Southern Observatory, the Tokyo Skytree (upper photo), and the green patch of trees in Shinjuku Gyoen - National Garden (lower photo).

After the panoramic view from the top, we then had a short stop at this circular traffic light intersection, amidst Shinjuku office buildings.

One corner of this intersection is where the "LOVE" sculpture, most tourist often take a pose:

Heading back to Machida for our last night in Tokyo, the sunset scene captured from the backseat is simply amazing:

Wait for the next part of this Japan Golden Week Highlight trip.  As a teaser, I'm leaving you this 3D Pop-up art - wall installation found inside the Metropolitan Government Bldg.  It summarize the iconic places of Tokaido (Eastern Sea 東海), which we have visited during our 3rd to 5th day in Shizuoka.


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