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Day 2 (25/03): Budokan, Yasukuni, Akihabara & Shibuya

03/25/08

Day 2 (25/03): Budokan, Yasukuni, Akihabara & Shibuya

  04:27:24 pm, Categories: Japan 2008

Today, the weather was a lot better than yesterday, it was actually quite warm in the sun in the afternoon.
Today, I went to visit the Yasukuni shrine. The shrine is dedicated to the spirits of soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan. The shrine is a bit controversial because it also enshrine some soldiers convicted of war crimes. Japanese prime ministers don't visit the shrine because it causes controversy in and outside Japan.
The shrine itself is largo with a long stone road in front of it.

Next stop is the Budokan. The Budokan is quite famous outside Japan because of the Beatles who did a concert there and the many other artists that followed. It is also used a lot by Japanese artists (like Gazette for example ;p). The Budokan was originally built (and still used) for national martial arts competitions. It has a very distinct octagonal shape.
When I was walking around the Budokan, there seemed to be something going on. A lot of young girls in kimono were walking around, it wasn't the coming of age ceremony which is in January. I'll have to look it up what it actually was about.

After making some pictures, took the train to Akihabara to do some shopping ;p Bought the latest Haruhi manga, some manga from Clannad, art books from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Lucky Star, and some magazines. For lunch I went to my first maid cafe, well, it wasn't actually a maid cafe, it was a cat cafe called "Cafe with Cat", meaning the girls were cutely dressed with cat ears on their head ^^. I came prepared though, as I had already seen the menu on their website so I would know what to get in case I could not read the menu. But the menu was quite easy with pictures and all. Wanted the beef curry, but it was sold out so I took some spaghetti ;p (which actually tasted quite good). Two of the three waitresses were quite cute though and speak in cute high voices ^^. And extremely friendly. Cafe With Cat is one of the only maid/cosplay cafes that is on the main steet Chuo Dori, it is housed in and run by Tora no Ana, a large manga & doujinshi store. All other maid/cosplay cafe are in the side streets and scattered around. That's why you see a lot of maids on the main street handing out flyers with a map on it. After that, went to buy a new 2GB CF card for my camera, the old 256MB card was becoming a bit small (which was big at the time I bought it).

Then I went to some shrines that are in Akihabara. When I arrived at the first one, I was surprised at how beautiful it was. That was because it's a very important shrine, it is the Kanda Myojin shrine, the tutelary shrine of all Edo, enshrining all the guardian deities of the 108 neighborhoods of Tokyo. I think this hidden beauty is easily forgotten by tourists because it is so close to Akihabara. I think it is worth the little detour.
Next is a confuscian temple, the Yushima Seido. It used to be a confuscian school and has the world's largest statue of Confuscius.

Went back to Akiba for a visit to Yodobashi, a very large department store which has practically everything: cd, dvd, toys, tv, house hold appliances, washing machines, bycicles, watches, cell phones and a lot more, and this on 8 floors and swarming with people.

Yasukuni shrine

The Nihon Budokan

Bridge in Akiba

Kanda Myojin shrine

Unground metro line comes above ground to cross the river at JR Ochanomizu station

Ayumi ad for new single Mirrorcle World in Shibuya

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Comment from: JJ  
5 stars

It was probably a graduation ceremony for the university or school students as I stumbled upon the same thing last year. I literally felt like a gatecrasher amongst the thousands of people that were dressed up to the nines.

07/03/08 @ 11:48

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