St. Genevieve High School

Experiencing Tokyo

Growing up, I never felt like I could quite fit in with my peers. It was not until I discovered anime and manga did I feel like I had something that truly understood me. It has opened me up to new cultures and has given me a great opportunity to experience new and wonderful things while conquering a few fears along the way. I was able to learn more about Japan’s culture including anime during my recent trip to Tokyo.

screen shot 2016 09 06 at 3 41 14 pm Experiencing Tokyo

Meiji Shrine is a famous place in Tokyo that visitors and locals alike to go basque in the temples’ architecture and culture. Walking towards the shrine, visitors are surrounded by nature–a nice oasis from the bustle of Tokyo. There are big arch ways to walk through towards the main shrine, which represent a mental cleansing. Before entering the main shrine there is also a water purification that is available to participate in before sending up your wishes in the main shrine. While I was there, I was able to experience a traditional Japanese wedding. The bride was wearing a uchikake, a white wedding kimono with a white headdress. The headdress symbolizes hiding the brides horns and represents submission.

screen shot 2016 09 06 at 3 41 24 pm Experiencing Tokyo

Takeshita Dori and Akihabara, the Electric Town, are places to go for visitors interested in anime and manga. Although small, Akihabara is a modern city with the latest technology and anime. It is the length of a street and about two blocks long. There are billboards and shops that are specified for anime and manga. The area even has maid cafes where my mother and I were able to experience something different than cafes in the United States. At the particular one we went to, customers become a princess or prince.

Takeshita Dori is more like an outside mall in an alley. Here you can see more of their subcultures and a little bit of anime, not as much as in Akihabara. It is very crowded and a popular place to visit.

screen shot 2016 09 06 at 3 41 31 pm Experiencing Tokyo

Japan is known for their cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms only bloom during April in Tokyo, so I got there in time to see it. The best place to
see them are at Ueno Park. At the time of my first visit, not all of the cherry blossoms have bloomed because of the climate change, but I was
still able to see a lot.

At Ueno Park there are monuments and a museum on the same grounds. It’s a place where you can go and see nature while also learning more about Japan’s history culture. The museum showed me what it was like when Japan was first founded. I was able to see the clothes they wore and things they made. In ancient Japan there are a lot of statues of the Kamakura period and it was really interesting to see the statues that were built before modern technology.

screen shot 2016 09 06 at 3 41 36 pm Experiencing Tokyo

Tokyo Tower is another popular place in Japan. The tower is 1,092 feet high and has a play area for kids, a shopping center, and two viewing floors. Here, I was able to see most of Tokyo during the day and at night.

To get to the tower, visitors have to walk through Zojoji Temple. It is really old styled with grand arch ways and a lot of people were there to visit it. There are many miniature statues of children and they are dressed up to symbolize the unborn children. Behind the temple there is a grave site and many people come to visit and see their ancestors.

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