Tokyo: Meiji Shrine, Harajuku & Shibuya

The second part of our last day in Tokyo, where I bumbled around Tokyo by myself, fancying myself as Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation. You might want to read the first part first…

Metropolitan Government Building

My next stop was the Metropolitan Government Building, which I heard had free observation decks with amazing views of Tokyo. By this point I was starving though, so I grabbed a rice ball snack and an iced coffee from a nearby convenience shop before resuming my tour.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

The entrance and surroundings are pretty grand; I had no idea where to go at first as this didn’t really look like a place for tourists, but then there were obvious tourist signs leading to the elevators up to the observation decks.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building frontage Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building frontage

The building is pretty tall and imposing!

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building frontage

After an elevator ride, I arrived at the top of the building and the views did not disappoint. I really wish it had been a nicer day, as it would have been spectacular.

View from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building View from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building View from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building View from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

You can just about see Tokyo Tower in the distance here…

View from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Meiji Shrine

My next destination looked walkable, so I head out in the direction of the Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu), a Shinto shrine within a forest of trees donated from all over Japan and overseas, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife (their actual tombs are in Kyoto).

On the way here, I saw an interesting sight; what looked like some homeless people in the street with cats stacked up in boxes. I wish I had taken a photo, but didn’t want to be disrespectful!

Meiji Jingu information sign

I walked onwards into the shrine complex. It started to rain…

Torii gate at one of the entrances to the Meiji shrine

…and I had no umbrella…

Main yard inside the Meiji shrine complex

…but the rain was warm, so I didn’t mind too much 🙂

Main Hall building inside the Meiji shrine

I love these trees; they are shaped so beautifully.

Main yard inside the Meiji shrine complex Inside the Meji shrine complex

On the way out of the shrine complex, a man took pity on me obviously looking like a drowned rat and gave me his little green umbrella. It was really nice of him!

People with umbrellas walking under Torii gate

Huge Torii gate. People for scale.

Large torii gate at main entrance to Meiji shrine


My next stop was Harajuku, just to say I’d been there. It was a pretty busy and bustling shopping area. I saw no Harajuku Girls though, sorry.

People with umbrellas in Harajuku

I wish I had gone into the Condomania shop I saw in Harajuku, but was a bit dubious to go in there my myself (wimpy, I know)!

Condomania shop in Harajuku

I was getting really tired with all the walking by this point, so thought I’d move onto my last destination, where I had planned to meet up with my friends at about 5pm…


From Harajuku, I used my trusty GPS to guide me to Shibuya. It didn’t look too far so I walked it, but it was a longer walk than I thought it’d be!

Shibuya is a very busy shopping and nightlife area, and the home of the famous Shibuya Crossing you see in all of the films. It was very busy, both with traffic and people. I figured out the way through and finally found Shibuya train station, which I knew was close to the crossing.

Road with cars ans buses in Shibuya

I walked a little bit further and there it was! Everyone waits patiently while the traffic passes…

People waiting to use the Shibuya crossing

…then all the lights change and everyone crosses at once; it’s pretty intense. I had to stand to the side to avoid getting crushed whilst I was taking photos.

People with umbrellas walking across the Shibuya crossing

I had agreed to meet my friends at the Starbucks near Shibuya Crossing, as according to the Internet, that is the place from which you can watch the crossing from a comfortable distance.

After wandering around the various levels of a shopping centre for ages and getting really confused, as that is where the café appeared to be but the directions signs just stopped, I bumped into my friends by chance on an escalator!

It seemed that Starbucks was closed and blocked off, so we found another cafĂ© and got a good view of the madness going on below…

View of Shibuya crossing from coffee shop window

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