Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2007/08/12 Togo shrine, Harajuku shopping, steak on the Ginza

Since Gary, Taina, G.A. and I were touring the Harajuku area, we walked north of train station to the Togo shrine. Togo was a famous Japanese general in the 1930s. The torii facing the street is quite impressive. The grounds around the shrine have been integrated with a hotel.

20070812_Harajuku_Togo_torii_GM_TT_GAS.jpg

Walking west into the grounds, the pond and bridges are lovely. The altars were locked up, suggesting that this is an active temple for local people, not tourists.

20070812_Harajuku_Togo_pond.jpg

To ensure that Taina didn’t return home empty-handed, we stopped by the Daiso in Harajuku.

20070812_Harajuku_Daiso_TT_hangings.jpg

For her sons, Taina found a street vendor selling t-shirts with Japanese writing (and a chart of translations!)

20070812_Harajuku_t-shirts.jpg

To finish off the day, we took a train to the Ginza. We had a great bargain dinner at a place that Diana and I discovered — Hanamasa Steak. There can’t be more than 10 seats around the counter. Payment is done at the vending machine, by dropping in coins. The steak is brought on a sizzling plate — instructions on the placemat suggest turning the sheet of paper up to prevent splatters, as you flip your meat over when it’s reached your preferred doneness.

20070812_Ginza_Hanamasa_Steak_TT_GAS_GM.jpg

Tokyo is a huge city. I’ve spent more than a week there in serious touring, and haven’t seen it all. Taina and Gary have been to Japan before, and I still managed to get them to places that they hadn’t seen previously.

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