April 28, 2008 - Around The World, Day 3 - Tokyo

In the Harajuku district is the Meiji Shrine. This is the impressive outer gate.

And the 'welcome' sign, I guess.
Either that, or it says 'no photography.'

The walk is very tranquil (until you get accosted by an old Japanese author, practicing his English by explaining how Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize has been tainted by commercialism and he should have rejected it when offered).

Never did figure this out. I think it is prayers - or advertizing.

The middle entrance gate, which is slightly more formidable than the outer one.

Stats on this cool, middle entrance gate.

Finally, the inner gate.

Inner courtyard - and the shrine, itself.

We heard them bang the drum, but it was so loud, I'm glad we weren't inside.
Meanwhile, the priests continue their prayers.

I just love the architecture!

It's like Epcot, without the kids - and rednecks - and redneck kids.

We'd technically just missed their cherry blossom season (and festivals), but still saw many, many cherry trees in bloom.
Cherries are such a prominent part of Japanese gardens and scenery that we were so happy so many were still flowering around the Meiji Shrine grounds.

Meiji grounds with a view of the Yotogi building, "Tokyo's Empire State Building."

Koi are everywhere, of course.

These are from a pond/stream that flows lazily through the Meiji grounds.

Azaleas were everywhere - like at the gardens at the Meiji shrine.

There's my hot wife - showing no signs of the 14-hour time change.

To get to dinner, we take the subway out to a more expected side of Tokyo - hustling and bustling amongst myriad technology shops.

The Park Hyatt.

I'm thinking this table is what they used as the bar for the movie, Lost in Translation.

The view of Tokyo from our table...

We stop by the WC on the way out to find another toilet controller/technological marvel. Infrared sensors to ensure you're seated before the sprinkle or seat warmer engages, etc.

The view of Tokyo from a window.

After a :30 cab ride back to the hotel, our very long first full day is complete.
Tomorrow: more Tokyo

Original itinerary:
4/28/2008 - Tokyo