Meiji shrine: Where the Gods meet

Tokyo is a place of contradictions, where you can find glamour in one corner and tradition and culture in another one (another corner). When visiting Harajuku, Shibuya’s cheeky little sister, one find eccentricity, and it (Harajuku) never disappoints, with its vibrant colors, rare stores, and beautiful people, you navigate through its small allies in a trancelike state. At least that’s how I feel every time I go there (Harajuku)

But just around Harajuku station (Omotesando exit), you will find one of its most precious treasures: Meiji Shrine (明治神宮 Meiji jingū) a place that has survived modernity until now. And still bring people together, local and visitors, we can feel the Gods and their spirits whisper in the trees when they ruffle the leaves, which some confuse with the wind. But I know it’s them who met in the trees’ top to talk about us, to make fun of us, to help us, to listen and to remind us that this is not the only life we will live.

The entrance of this enchanted place

Barrels of sake

Barrels of wine

We do like spirits here, what can I say?😉

 

 

Isn’t it breathtaking?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s Meiji jingū, a place not only to worship but to talk to the Gods and to meet them.

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Kagurazaka: Gods in summer

During the Obon holidays, which are the holidays, where most Japanese people go back to their hometowns to visit their families and to honor their ancestors, Tokyo opens its secret dens for you.  And following the summer breeze one Sunday afternoon, I discovered: Akagi jinja (Akagi shrine)

When I saw this torii (entrance to a sacred place), I knew I had arrived at an extraordinary place.


Akagi jinja (Akagi shrine) was redesigned by Kengo Kuma in 2010, and he made of it (Akagi shrine) a master piece.

Those kanji above can be read as 蛍雪天神(keisetsu tenjin) The God of the diligent study

As always my enthusiasm took the best of me and I gave my offerings a little bit too loud. I think I might have woken up the God in its day off. I should leave now, but if the God wakes up, please do not speak of me. You haven’t seen me. Shhhh…!!

Summer: An enemy who fights until the end

I have never liked summer. It has always felt like an invader. I loathe wearing sleeveless shirts and shorts. They do not feel natural to me. I would like to say they don’t suit but I think it is them who can’t stand me.
Dresses, on the other hand, have always been my friends, hiding my bizarre silhouette, they stand by me, no matter what 😊

Summer and I have never enjoyed each other’s company.

And living on an island where the summer is a real summer. You can imagine how hard it is to leave the house to carry on with “life” while trying hard not to melt while doing so.
In Japan, specifically in Tokyo, humidity intensifies the heat sensation, so if the thermometer tells you temperature hits 35°C (95°F), it means we have heat sensation of 43 °C (109°F) so as you can guess my natural aversion for summer increases every year.

Hopefully, sometimes, heat compassionately allows the rain to refresh us for a few days, but then it comes back, as it were saying, it is not my time to go yet. The summer is an enemy who fights until the end.

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