Land of the Rising Sun #2: Tokyo, shrines, and fortunes


Alejandro Silva Rodelo

This is a photo of the entry of the Senso-Ji Temple.

Alejandro Silva Rodelo, Staff Writer

It’s Day 2 and boy am I tired. This day was truly filled with walking around Tokyo.  Who would have known that I was going to do cardio on this trip? This whole day we walked over five miles!

The day started off by visiting the Senso-Ji Temple in the Taito District. Even though we were in a religious location, the commercial business didn’t stop, as there were a bunch of souvenir shops around the whole temple. As we got free time to walk around, we did a fortune roulette kind of thing. We gave a monetary offering (100 yen or about 72 American cents) and shook a canister that’s full of sticks. When you pull a stick out of a slim hole, the stick tells you the number you pull out a fortune from. My friends and I all tested our luck and we progressively got better fortunes. Unfortunately (pun intended), I got a bad fortune. In Japanese tradition, you tie the bad fortunes on a rod where they are then discarded.

The second event of the day we went to the Kiyomasa Well, which was also a shrine. Our tour guide taught us how to properly pay respect at the shrine. We went through a process of rinsing our hands and mouth to get rid of negative touch and words to be able to pay our respects. At the shrine, you also go to make a wish that you want to come true by going through the process of bowing twice to introduce yourself to the Shinto Gods, clapping twice to let them know you’re there, and bowing again as you respectfully say goodbye to the Shinto Gods.

Next, our tour guide was excited to tell us that we would be visiting and spending some free time in the Harajuku District, known as the “Teenage District.” He wasn’t wrong at all. It was surreal to see so many students in uniforms walking around in one single shopping street. We spent two and a half hours walking around amazed at what stuff the stores had to offer. I personally walked into a soccer store and, although I didn’t buy anything, it was amazing to see the crazy selection to choose from. I ended up beating the temptation to add to my jersey collection. 

Our view from above. (Alejandro Silva Rodelo)

We then went to a governmental building that offered a spectating area on the 45th floor. Getting that view of a city that appears to never end was a true blessing as you admire the architectural wonders that humans were able to create.

Lastly, we got plumped up with a sumo style hot pot dinner. It was to be enjoyed in a traditional Japanese manner. Shoes had to be off and one could enjoy while being seated on their knees. The dinner offered rice, pork, chicken, and noodles that one cooks in the broth after the pork and chicken are cooked in. As I’m writing this, I know that the food coma will be very effective, as this was once again a very tiring day.  Time for bed.

Tomorrow will be our last day in Tokyo, where we visit Akihabara and maybe a museum or a zoo before going to the countryside to visit Fuji National Park. Stay tuned for tomorrow night’s upload as I go over the last day in Tokyo.