This was my first Obon in Japan and also my first chance to get away from Yamaguchi. Hofu is a great city to live in, clean, quiet and the people are friendly but it’s very normal; so I decided to head to Tokyo to find as many weird and wacky things as possible and to meet some friends.
During this visit I focused on the Shibuya, Minato and Chiyoda areas of the city. Visiting such attractions as Akihabara, the Imperial gardens, the Yasukuni Shrine and Harajuku.
Harajuku is a great area of Tokyo, there are lots of interesting shops that sell lots of different niche products and the people and the environment are very friendly. I was lucky to see a big group of Harajuku girls they were very colourful and stood out against the crowd, in my opinion to spend that much time making yourself look that colourful is impressive.
Considering that the bright, noise streets of Harajuku are only about 10 meters from its entrance it seems hard to believe that the Meiji Shrine is as quiet as it is. The shrines grounds are one of my favorite places in Tokyo clean, quiet and very green it is quite easy to forget that you are in the largest city in the world when you’re walking the tree lined paths of the shrine. One of my biggest regrets of the trip to Tokyo was that I didn't get to spend more time at the shrine but considering it took me about 2 hours to walk around the circumference of the grounds and I only just managed to leave before they locked the gates for the night, I think I can be forgiven.
Chiyoda is an impressive area, although I visited the area in 2010 I still find the Imperial Gardens an incredibly impressive sight. The contrast between the tall narrow spaces of the Tokyo streets and the wide open spaces of the Imperial Gardens is impressive enough in its own right but to have that reality thrust upon you by the very defined boarder between the two makes the whole experience almost surreal.
All in all whilst I had a great time in Tokyo and met some lovely people I and my wallet is glad to be back in Hofu. The big city is very nice to visit but I think I would have some reservations about living there.