An entire section of Tokyo (mostly teenagers) follows avant garde fashion and trends with a passion. Famous for their dressing are the Harajuku Girls, known by this name since they come dressed up on weekends and hang out at an area called Harajuku. Their styling is so elaborate (with many dressed as Lolitas and many in pure Gothic finery) that it gets difficult to remember your manners and not stare! Due to this trend, the whole area is very famous and also caters a lot to their fashion as well as other tourists. One of the most famous streets in that area, Takeshita Dori, frequented by tourists as well as many teenagers, has shops where you can buy clothing, shoes, makeup and wigs to dress like the Harajuku Girls.
Image credits: Pinterest and LRT.
Family biking takes on a new meaning in Japan, with an entire family using bicycles for transport. (In a way it is similar to India where you can see parents with 2, 3 or 4 kids crammed in a scooter or a motorbike.) Comfortable baby seats with seat belts and kids with helmets, sitting peacefully behind their parents is a common sight in Tokyo. Pregnant ladies riding bikes with one child in the front and one behind, women dressed impeccably in skirts and heels riding bikes with a toddler strapped on their body and a kid sitting behind are all common (yet, amazing) sights. If the Japanese are in great physical shape with barely anyone overweight, this is definitely one big reason for it.
Image credits: Pinterest, Tokyo by Bike and LRT.
Being a vegetarian I obviously have eaten a lot of vegetables! But in all my life I have not tasted vegetables as fresh and succulent as I have in Tokyo. Hands down, the best and most delicious produce is from Japan! I’ve heard that meats and fish are the best in Japan too… I can’t vouch for that obviously, but for those who eat meats, it is supposed to be a haven of taste!
Tokyo has its own version of the Eiffel Tower called the Tokyo Tower. Very close to the Tokyo Tower is a picturesque temple called Zojo-ji built before the 1400AD. Of the two gates that lead to the temple, the one named Sangedatsu, has been standing from when the temple was originally built. Red in colour, it is supposed to rid you of hatred, foolishness and greed when you pass thru it. The temple stands with the tower as a backdrop, a lovely juxtaposition of the traditional and the modern.
The most touching and unique thing about the place though (and something that will stay with me for my lifetime), are the hundreds of statues of one of the most loved divinities in Japan, known as Jizo—the protector of children as well as travellers. Parents who have lost a child (miscarried, aborted or stillborn) choose an image of the deity and take care of it, by decorating it with baby clothes, bibs and caps. Grieving parents leave toys there at times and pray for Jizo to protect their lost children’s souls and help lead them into the afterlife. Rows upon rows of Jizo statues decorated with bright red caps, dresses, fans and toys, creates a very colourful sight. In contrast to that, the thought of why the statues are thus dressed saddens you and tugs at your heart like you cannot imagine!
My tryst with Tokyo has been amazing and has left an indelible mark on me! I can only hope that everyone gets to visit this wonderful country once at least and gets to experience all that this place has to offer!
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