Posts Tagged With: maneki neko

What to buy: Essential Tokyo souvenirs

25 only-in-Japan gifts, from chopsticks to Be@rbricks

Essential Tokyo souvenirs

No trip to Tokyo would be complete without some souvenir shopping, but scoring the ultimate omiyage can be a real pain sometimes. We’ve made life easier by picking 25 great Tokyo souvenirs, ranging from the traditional (incense, combs, lucky charms) to the downright quirky (tooth-shaped jewellery, anyone?), and most of them are sold close to the city’s main sightseeing spots. Happy shopping, and remember: there’s more to souvenirs than Tokyo Banana.


Fake food keyring
Ganso Shokuhin Sample-ya, Asakusa
A fixture on the Kappabashi ‘Kitchen Town’ circuit since 1932, Ganso Shokuhin Sample-ya produces fake food for display in restaurant windows, but in recent years it’s branched out into keyrings, mobile phone straps and DIY ‘Sample’n Cooking’ kits. Address and map


Maneki-neko figurine
Imado Shrine, Asakusa
The maneki-neko ‘beckoning cat’ figurines beloved of Japanese shops and pachinko parlours are believed to have started life at this shrine to all things romantic. Imado’s distinctive conjoined cat statuettes would make a perfect gift for a lovestruck couple.Address and map


Boxwood comb
Yonoya Kushiho, Asakusa
Handmade combs may be a dying art, but the boxwood beauties on sale at this Asakusa shop (established all the way back in 1717) should last for a generation or two if taken care of properly. Prepare to be tempted by the elegant hairpins and keyrings on offer. Address and map


Made-to-order notebook
Kakimori, Asakusa
You might find yourself falling in love with the art of writing all over again after a visit to stationery shop Kakimori, where staff can craft you a custom-made notebook using a range of locally produced paper, covers and bindings. Address and map


‘Akari kokeshi’ doll
Tokyo Kitsch, Yanaka
Traditional Japanese motifs are given a modern twist at Tokyo Kitsch. Their ‘akari kokeshi’ wooden doll conceals an LED light that switches on automatically when it’s picked up or knocked over – a neat trick that might prove invaluable if (or when) the Big One hits. Address and map


Bamboo birdcage
Midoriya, Yanaka
Operating for over a century now, the family-run Midoriya offers bamboo products ranging from the everyday to the exquisite. Its traditionalmushikago cages come in a range of shapes and sizes, and you can even buy bamboo birds and insects to put inside. Address and map


Japanese-style Be@rbricks
Medicom Toy Solamachi, Oshiage
Housed in Tokyo Skytree’s onsite mall, the flagship shop for Medicom Toy shows an admirable respect for its ‘hood, with traditional-style Be@rbrick figures decorated to resemble kabuki actors, daruma dolls and more. Address and map


Lacquered chopsticks
Ginza Natsuno, Ginza
Small and portable, chopsticks make for ideal souvenirs. Mind you, some of the offerings at Natsuno – including lacquered pieces from various regions of Japan – look so gorgeous you might be reluctant to actually use them. Address and map


Japanese stickers
Ito-ya, Ginza
Huge and almost invariably busy, Ginza’s Ito-ya shop is the go-to place for Japanese stationery. Head down to the basement and you’ll find a selection of suitably Japan-style stickers, including images of Mt Fuji, sushi, maneki-neko cats and kabuki.Address and map


Incense pouche
Kyukyodo, Ginza
Established nearly 350 years ago, Kyukyodo supplied incense to the Imperial family during the Edo period, while also specialising in Japanese paper. We’re particularly fond of their palm-sized incense pouches, including the sandlewood-scentedkinran kinchakuAddress and map


Lacquered pencil
Gojuon, Ginza
Ballpoint pens and pencils must be some of the most humdrum stationery around – at least, that is, until you’ve seen the items sold at Gojuon. The gorgeous lacquered pencils here are crafted using traditional techniques, to produce a range of different finishes. Address and map


Edo-style broom
Shirokiya Denbe, Kyobashi
Floors, tabletops, clothes: if there’s something that needs sweeping, you’ll probably be able to find a broom for the task here. Shirokiya Denbe’s Edo-style brooms are also available in compact sizes that are ideal for getting dust off suits and jackets. Address and map


Fortune toothpicks
Saruya, Ningyocho
There are toothpicks, and then there are the hand-crafted little marvels sold at this three-century-old shop in Ningyocho. The kumadori box set comes adorned with a kabuki motif, and its toothpicks are wrapped in fortune slips carrying traditional love songs. Address and map


‘Chigibako’ charm
Shiba Daijingu Shrine, Shiba-Daimon
People have been buying these distinctive, three-tier lucky charms since the Edo era, when women bought them in the hope of finding a good husband. Decorated with wisteria flowers, the three boxes contain beans that rattle when shaken. Address and map


Origami paper
Souvenir From Tokyo, Nogizaka
With a name like that, it’d be rudenot to include Souvenir From Tokyo in this list. The NACT’s shop lives up to its billing with a well chosen array of Tokyo- and Japan-themed design products, including this nifty printed origami paper – also sold in postcard format. Address and map


Bonsai kit
Oriental Bazaar, Harajuku
Tokyo’s most famous souvenir shop is a no-brainer if you’re on the hunt for Japanese gifts. This DIY bonsai set comes complete with seeds, soil and a pot to put them in, meaning that all you’ll need is water – oh, and the patience of a Zen monk. Address and map


‘Tenugui’ towel
Kamawanu, Daikanyama
Tenugui – traditional hand towels made from dyed cloth – have been coming back in vogue recently, and there are few better places to get one than at Kamawanu. Don’t be fooled by the name, either: these ‘towels’ can be used for a lot more than just drying stuff. Address and map


Honeyx bathtime box
Claska Gallery & Shop ‘Do’, Shibuya
Keeping people’s skin fresh and perky since 1927, Hoken’s honey- and royal jelly-dervied cosmetics are an ideal gift for the lady in your life. This gift set includes soaps, shampoo and conditioner, all housed in an attractive paulownia box.Address and map


Mt Fuji tissue case
Katakana, Jiyugaoka
There’s an entire section devoted to Mt Fuji at Katakana, Jiyugaoka’s ever-reliable ‘shop presenting Japanese cool’. Their tissue cases are particularly nifty – notice how the protruding tip of the hankie matches the shape of the mountain’s peak.Address and map


Rilakkuma phone straps
Kiddy Land, Harajuku
Harajuku toy shop par excellence, Kiddy Land devotes a hefty chunk of its fourth floor to ubiquitous bear character Rilakkuma, including these only-in-Tokyo phone straps featuring landmarks like Kaminarimon and Mt Takao. Address and map


Retro kit models
Tokyu Hands, Shibuya
One of the nerdiest corners of the Tokyu Hands shop in Shibuya is floor 7B, home to a panoply of plastic model kits. The nostalgia-inducingFubutsushi sets recreate scenes of Showa Japan, from the local sweet shop to the late-night soba cart.Address and map


Tooth jewellery
Aquvii Tokyo, Shibuya
As unusual Tokyo souvenirs go, you could do a lot worse than Aquvii’s line of tooth earrings and necklaces. And don’t worry: they’re fashioned from medical-grade resin rather than real human gnashers, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting them past customs. Address and map


Cheap snacks
Don Quijote, Shinjuku
Sure, you could splurge on some highfalutin Japanese sweets at a department store. But your recipient would get a far better sense of contemporary Japan from a selection of cheap ‘n’ nasty children’s snacks, courtesy of our friends at Don Quijote. Address and map


‘Washi’ paper goods
Bingoya, Wakamatsucho
A six-floor bazaar devoted to traditional Japanese crafts, Bingoya should satisfy even the most jaded souvenir shopper. Their handmadewashi (Japanese paper) products are oh-so-practical, with business card holders, book covers and more.Address and map


Manga… in English
Manadarake, Nakano
Manga, dojinshi fanzines, out-of-print books, fan merchandise: whatever your otaku obsession, you’ll be able to sate it here. Perhaps more importantly, Mandarake also has a selection of English titles, if you want something that people back home can actually read. Address and map

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Categories: Japanese technology, Must see, Things to do, Where to shop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Saturday in Tokyo; Satagaya area

(Please scroll down to read an English translation)

Experience the relaxed vibe of Shimokitazawa
Dit weekend heb ik maar eens mijn wandelschoenen aangedaan en ben met mijn camera op zak op pad gegaan. Als eerste ben ik op zaterdag naar Shimokitazawa gegaan. Dit is in de wijk Setagaya. De wijk is hele ‘up and coming’ in Tokio, ondanks het feit dat het buiten het centrum gelegen is. Tijdens een enquette onder jongeren gaven velen aan graag in deze wijk te willen wonen. Wat is er te vinden? Als je op het station aan komt, dan kun je grofweg twee kanten op. De noordkant of de zuidkant. Aan de zuidkant vind je veel barretjes, theaters, en restaurantjes. Aan de noordkant vind je veel hippe winkeltjes. Bijvoorbeeld veel vintage kledingwinkels, tweede hands lp en cd winkels en leuke vintage spulletjes.

At shimokitazawa

At shimokitazawa

De wijk bestaat uit veel kleine steegjes die leuk zijn om doorheen te lopen. Je valt van de ene verbazing in de andere. Overal iets wat te zien. Helaas toen ik er was, waren veel winkeltjes nog dicht, hoewel de rolluiken in veel gevallen ook erg leuk waren om te zien. De sfeer in deze wijk is heel relaxed. The mensen zijn heel ‘laid back’ en zeker op een zaterdag was het met name bij de lokale broodjeszaak enorm druk met mensen die lekkere broodjes of muffins kwamen afhalen of die gezellig met een kopje koffie lekker van een ontbijt of lunch aan het genieten waren.

A young girl taking a break at Shimokitazawa

A young girl taking a break at Shimokitazawa

Store front at Shimokitazawa

Store front at Shimokitazawa

Vintage store in Shimokitazawa

Vintage store in Shimokitazawa

Als je van hip en trendy houdt, maar wel graag ook betaalbaar, dan is shimokitazawa zeker een wijk die leuk is om te bezoeken. Harajuku is in vergelijking veel duurder en extremer wat mode betreft. Shimokitazawa is meer een wijk voor studenten en mensen die hun eigen ‘look’ willen creëren met de leuke vintage winkels die er te vinden zijn.

Cool bar in Shimokitazawa

Cool bar in Shimokitazawa

Maneki neko
Als je van katten houdt, dan is de Maneki neko een must see. Dit is het al oude bekende witte katje wat zijn pootje ophoudt en vaak aan de ingang van restaurants of soms in winkels te vinden zijn. Deze kat wuift naar klanten en probeert ze met zijn pootje naar binnen te lokken. Aan deze kat is een speciale tempel gewijd. Deze tempel heet Gotokuji en is vanaf Shimokitazwa gemakkelijk met de trein te bereiken.

Maneki Nekko

Maneki Neko

De oorsprong van Maneki Neko
Je zal je vast afvragen waarom Japanners een hele tempel wijden aan één enkele kat en geloven dat deze kat geluk kan brengen. Het verhaal van de oorsprong van Maneki neko of ‘lucky cat’ gaat als volgt. Op een dag kwam er een witte kat aanlopen bij de Gotokuji tempel. De tempel was in die tijd erg arm en de priester had amper eten om zichzelf te voeden. Toch, toen de kat aan kwam wandelen, kon hij het niet over zijn hart verdragen om haar weg te sturen. Hij voedde de kat en de dagen verstreken. Op een gegeven moment ging het nog slechter met de tempel en de dagen dat er geen eten was, werden er steeds meer. De priester zei dan ook gekscherend tegen de kat die hij Tama had genoemd:’Misschien kun je beter je geluk elders proberen Tama, hier valt niet meer zoveel te halen.’ De kat wandelde vervolgens langzaam naar de poort van de tempel toe, en begon haarzelf te wassen, zoals katten wel vaker toen. Inmiddels begon het weer te betrekken en begon het te regenen en te stormen. Een belangrijke samurai kwam langs rijden met zijn gezelschap. Hij en zijn metgezellen besloten te stoppen en te schuilen onder een boom. Toen hij opkeek zag hij de kat zitten, en besloot hij naar haar toe te lopen om haar beter te bekijken. Eenmaal bij de kat aangekomen, sloeg de bliksem in, in de boom waar de samurai minuten ervoor nog aan het schuilen was. De samurai zag dit als een teken en besloot de tempel in te gaan om de priester te bedanken voor het sturen van de witte kat die zijn leven had gered. Vanaf dat moment werd de samurai een beschermheer van de tempel en was de tempel gered. Het verhaal van de wonderbaarlijke kat verspreide zich al snel in Edo (zo heette Tokyo in die tijd) en vele mensen trokken naar de tempel toe om de merkwaardige kat te zien in de hoop dat dit geluk zou brengen. Tegenwoordig zijn er nog steeds mensen die voor een beetje geluk naar deze tempel komen om een wit katje achter te laten in de hoop dat dit geluk brengt.

Maneki Nekko mania

Maneki Neko mania

Het complex is natuurlijk interessant vanwege deze kattenbeeldjes die je staan op te wachten, maar de gebouwen zijn ook zeker de moeite waard om te zien. Er is een mooie pagode te zien en ook een grote begraafplaats waar veel familie leden van de familie Ii (zo heette de samurai die beschermheer was) zijn begraven. De kat schijnt er ook ergens begraven te liggen, maar dat graf heb ik helaas niet gevonden. Wel zag ik dat in de speciale hal toegewijd aan Maneki neko een dienst werd opgevoerd voor een meneer die blijkbaar wel wat geluk kon gebruiken.

Gotokuji temple

Gotokuji temple

Pagode at Gotokuji temple

Pagode at Gotokuji temple

Sakura's at Gotokuji temple

Sakura’s at Gotokuji temple

Sumo tempel
Aangezien ik toch in de buurt was, besloot ik de trein te nemen naar Setagaya Hachiman jinja. Dit is een shinto tempel die is opgedragen aan sumo worstelaars. Van origine was Sumo namelijk een soort van rituele dans waarbij de ‘dansers’ zogenaamd met een ‘kami’ of geest aan het worstelen waren. Later werd deze dans de sport die het nu is. de ring waar sumo worstelaars in spelen wordt nog steeds als heilige grond beschouwd. Nog veel van de traditionele ‘danspassen’ uit de vroegere vorm van sumo zijn bewaard gebleven, vandaar dat je sumo worstelaars altijd eerst deze stappen ziet uitvoeren voordat het gevecht daadwerkelijk plaats vindt. Terwijl ik er was, had ik geluk. Er werden twee babietjes ‘gedoopt’ in deze prachtige tempel. Ik voelde me echt heel gelukkig dat ik dit bijzondere ritueel mee mocht maken, hoewel één van de babietjes het minder leuk vond.
Bij deze tempel is een openlucht sumo ring te zien met een kleine stenen tribune erbij. Op deze plek vinden nog steeds gevechten plaats.

Setagaya Hachiman jinja

Setagaya Hachiman jinja

Sumo ring at Setagaya Hachiman jinja

Sumo ring at Setagaya Hachiman jinja

At Setagaya Hachiman jinja

At Setagaya Hachiman jinja

Shokoin tempel
Een andere tempel die in de buurt ligt van de Setaga Hachiman jinja is de Shokoin ji. Dit is een buddhistische tempel met een begraafplaats die bekend staat om het mooie bamboebos er omheen. Hier ben ik ook nog even langs geweest voordat ik mijn reis verder vervolgde. Ik twijfelde of ik in Setagaya zou blijven en nog de carrot tower zou bekijken (een hoog gebouw in de wijk waar je in kan om het uitzicht te bewonderen) of dat ik meer terug richting huis zou gaan en nog langs Yoyogi koen zou gaan. Het is nu op en top kersenbloesemtijd dus besloot ik toch maar de metro te nemen richting yoyogi koen.

Cementary at Shokoinji

Cementary at Shokoinji

At Shokoin jinja

At Shokoin jinja

At Shokoin jinja

At Shokoin jinja

Yoyogi koen
In yoyogi koen (koen betekent park) was het een drukte van jewelste. Hoewel het weer niet fantastisch was en het zelf behoorlijk begon te waaien, was het heel druk in het park. Veel Japanners waren naar het park afgereisd om te genieten van een pick nick onder de uitgelopen kersenbloesems. In Yoyogi koen is er in het weekend altijd genoeg te doen, zo zijn er optredens door steeds weer verschillende mensen en zijn er ook ‘oude bekenden’ zoals de trommelaars die altijd bij de ingang richting Shibuya aan het ‘jammen’ zijn.
Vandaag was echter anders dan anders, vanwege de kersenbloesems, kwamen er natuurlijk veel mensen naar het park dus een uitgelezen moment voor mensen om hun kraampje op te zetten en de heerlijkste hapjes te verkopen. Was is een pick nick immers zonder eten en drinken? Hoewel er natuurlijk ook mensen zijn die zelfgemaakte hapjes meenemen, worden de meeste mensen in yoyogi park verleid door de heerlijke geuren van gebakken noodles, bao pao’s, worstjes en andere lekkernijen.

Hanami at Yoyogi koen

Hanami at Yoyogi koen

The crowds enjoying Sakura at Yoyogi koen

The crowds enjoying Sakura at Yoyogi koen

Inmiddels begon ik al een beetje moe te worden, maar terwijl ik richting de metro liep, zag ik dat bij het station nog veel meer kraampjes waren waar niet alleen eten, maar ook kleding en andere zaken werden verkocht. Ook was er een podium waar de bekende Japanse meidenband AKB 48 aan het optreden was. De batterij van mijn camera hield er inmiddels ook mee op, en hoewel de muziek leuk klonk en ik uit de verte veel mensen zag genieten van het optreden, besloot ik toch maar de metro richting huis te pakken.

English:

(Please scroll down to read an English translation)

Experience the relaxed vibe of Shimokitazawa
This weekend I put on my walking shoes and went out with my camera. First thing in the morning I went to Shimokitazawa. This is an area in Setagaya district. The area is very ‘up and coming’ in Tokyo,  eventhough it is located outside the city center. During a survey among young people many of them indicated that they would like to live in this area. Why is it worth wile to visit?  When you arrive at the station, you can go basically in two directions. The north side or the south side. On the south side you can find many bars, restaurants and theaters. On the north side there are many shops selling one of a kind vintage clothes and other items, second hand lp & cd shops and clothes stores by small labels.

At shimokitazawa

At shimokitazawa

When you walk around Shimokitazawa or ‘Shimikita’ as it is called by the locals, you can find a maze of small streets and alleyways that zig zag across and take you to all the cool places. Where ever you walk there is something interesting to see, it is truly amazing! Unfortunately when I was there, most shops were not open yet, although the shutters of most shops were pretty amazing too with interesting paintings or graffiti. The admosphere in the area is really relaxed. The people are ‘laid back’ and especially on a Saturday there were many that frequented the local sandwich shop to buy the most wonderful sandwiches and muffins to take away or have there with a nice cup of coffee.

A young girl taking a break at Shimokitazawa

A young girl taking a break at Shimokitazawa

Store front at Shimokitazawa

Store front at Shimokitazawa

Vintage store in Shimokitazawa

Vintage store in Shimokitazawa

When you like hip and trendy, but are on a budget, the affordable prices in Shimokitazawa is definitely a fun place to go. Harajuku is in comparison a lot more expensive and more extreme where fashion goes. Shimokitazawa is more and area for students that want to create their own look by buying choice items at one of the many vintage or small label shops that are scattered around the place.

Cool bar in Shimokitazawa

Cool bar in Shimokitazawa

Maneki neko
If you are a cat lover, then Maneki neko is a must see. This is the all known with cat that hold up her paw and if often put at the entrance of a lot of restaurants or even some shops. The cat beckons with her paw to custumers and charms them to visit the restaurant or shop. Did you know this cat actually has her own temple? This temple is called Gotokuji and can be reached from Shimokitazwa by train.

Maneki Nekko

Maneki Neko

The origin of Maneki Neko
You might wonder why Japanese actually award an entire temple to a simple cat and believe it is the key to good luck. The story of the Maneki neko or ‘lucky cat’ goes as follows. On a day a white cat sauntered on to the de Gotokuji temple. This temple was at the time really poor and the main priesst hardly had any food  to feed himself, let alone the cat. Regardless he felt for the little critter and took it in. The days past and the plight of the temple only grew more serious. At one point the days without food became more and more frequent so the priest said jokingly to the cat:’Tama (this was the name the priest gave the cat) I think you’d better find another place to live.’ The cat looked at him and walked off towards the entrance of the temple. She didn’t actually go far. Just outside the temple she remained and started washing herself like cats tend to do. By that time the weather started to go bad and a storm was starting. An important samurai was just passing together with his entourage. He decided to take shelter under a tree. When he looked up he noticed the cat near the temple gate. The cat caught his eye and he proceeded to move closer. When he had reached the cat, lightning struck the tree, where moments before the samurai was taking shelter from the rain.  The samurai saw this as a sign and followed the cat back into the temple to thank the priest who took care of the cat that had saved his life. From that time onwards the samurai decided to become the guardian of the temple and it started to flourish from this influx of money. Word spread quickly around Edo (this is how Tokyo was called at that time) and many people flocked to see to this wonderful temple to see the cat that had saved a samurai. The visitors hoped that being in the vicinity of the cat, some of it’s good luck might rub off on them and, although the cat is long since dead, still many people come to the temple for a bit of good luck.

Maneki Neko mania

Maneki Neko mania

Of course the cats are nice to see, the complex itself is also worthwile. Especially the pagoda is really nice. Besides that there is cementary where a lot of members of the Ii family have been buried. (This is the name of the samurai who became the protector of the temple after he felt he his life was saved by her.) The cat is said to have been burried there as well, but unfotunately I did not find her Grave. I did see a man who underwent a special Shinto ceremony in the hall dedicated to Maneki neko apparently he was in need of a bit of luck as well!

Gotokuji temple

Gotokuji temple

Pagode at Gotokuji temple

Pagode at Gotokuji temple

Sakura's at Gotokuji temple

Sakura’s at Gotokuji temple

Sumo temple
Since I was in the neighbourhood, I decided to take the train to Setagaya Hachiman jinja. This is a shinto shrine dedicated to aan sumo wrestlers. In the old days sumo was not considered a sport at all but was part of an elaborate shinto ritual. Two wrestlers preformed a kind of dance meant to resemble a fight with a vicious ‘kami’ or spirit god. Later this dance grew out into the sport it is today. Many of the original moves from those days were kept, so before every bout, the wrestlers do a sort of dance that represent the original shinto ritual. In fact the ring in which the wrestlers fight is considered hallowed ground up until this day. I was Lucky, while I was at the temple, a ritual ‘baptism’ for lack of a better word, was conducted. I felt privaliged to have been a witness to this, although one of the babies enjoyed the whole thing a lot less and screamed it’s little heart out.  This temple actually has an open air sumo ring with a stone spectators area. It is still in use today and once in a while sumo matches can be seen.

Setagaya Hachiman jinja

Setagaya Hachiman jinja

Sumo ring at Setagaya Hachiman jinja

Sumo ring at Setagaya Hachiman jinja

Sumo ring at Setagaya Hachiman jinja

At Setagaya Hachiman jinja

At Setagaya Hachiman jinja

Shokoin temple
Another temple that is quite nearby is the Shokoin ji. (The ‘ji’ stands for a buddhist temple so whenever you see a sign with the name of a temple that ends with ‘ji’ and has the English word for temple behind it, it basically says … temple temple) This particular temple is well known for the beautiful bamboos that surround the temple grounds. Before taking my journey further, I decided to drop by since it was just around the corner anyway.  After visiting the Shokoin temple I either wanted to go to the carrot tower and stay in the Setagaya (this is a a high building that has an observation deck from where you have a nice view over the city) or I was going to go more in the direction of home and head to Yoyogi koen. (koen stands for park in Japanese) Since it is cherry blossom season, the park won and besides the weather wasn’t too great either so I figured the view could wait for another day.

Cementary at Shokoinji

Cementary at Shokoinji

At Shokoin jinja

At Shokoin jinja

At Shokoin jinja

At Shokoin jinja

Yoyogi koen
In yoyogi koen it was even more crowed than usual. Even though the weather was not great and the wind had started to pick up, there were still many people in the park enjoying the hanami (having a pick nick under the cherry trees). A lot of Japanese had travelled to the park to enjoy one of the best days for enjoying the blossoms as they are currently at full bloom. After the weekend they will slowly start to fall out unfortunately. Yoyogi koen is always a nice place to visit on the weekends. There are generally a few people performing, some new and some familiar faces too like the drum players that always gather there and sit near the Shibuya exit enjoying a nice jam session.
Today was unlike most weekends, obviously because of the cherry blossoms. A lot more people frequented the park than usual which allowed wonderful opportunities for the local vendors. The came out in mass to set up their little stalls and sell the most wonderful snack food like fried noodles, freshly steamed bao pao, sausages on a stick and other delicacies. I mean, what is a pick nick without food and drinks right? And since many people know that one a day like this, food is abundant so most of them opt for not lugging everything with them, but to just buy some there.

Hanami at Yoyogi koen

Hanami at Yoyogi koen

The crowds enjoying Sakura at Yoyogi koen

The crowds enjoying Sakura at Yoyogi koen

By this time I was starting to get tired, but while I was walking towards the nearest metro station, I noticed even more stalls near the stadium, which offered not only food, but also other items like clothes for instance. Later on I noticed a stage and it turned out the popular girl band AKB 48 performing. By that time the battery of my camera had died and even though the music sounded alluring and the smell of food delicious, I decided to head home and grab the next metro instead.

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