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--- xus (6/19/2012)
Day 9

Dave had three full days left before he had to head back to the states. We planed to use it for sightseeing in Tokyo (today), Nikko (tomorrow), and Fuji Five Lakes area (the 3rd day). It's kind of rush. But with my brother's help, at least it's doable.

For Tokyo, we visited Meiji Shrine, Yasukuni Shrine, Imperial East Gardens, and Sensoji Temple in one day. First stop was Meiji Shrine, located next to Harajuku Station. We were hoping to see the famous Harajuku girls, who dress outrageously and stand all day near the Harajuku station in the weekend, posing pictures for people for free. But we got there way too early to see any. If I had known that, I would reverse the route for the day.

1. Wish boards at Meiji Shrine. You pay 500 Yen for a piece of wood to write your wish on. One Japanese girl wrote that she wanted to be the girlfriend of Mr. xxx. An American tourist wrote that s/he wanted to win the Powerball ......

Next stop was Yasukuni Shrine. Yasukuni is a Shinto shrine that commemorates Japan's war dead. 2.5 million people who died for Japan are enshrined here, including the war criminals of the World War II, which causes a huge controversy for many people in Asia, whose countries have been invaded by Japan during the World War II.

2. Yasukuni Shrine.

3. Yasukuni Shrine.
4. Yasukuni Shrine.

5. Yasukuni Shrine.

A really large museum, the Yushukan (遊就館), is located just next to the shrine's main building. In it, Japan is presented not as the invaders during the World War II, but as the force to help Asia countries to independence from European countries. A movie, titled the The Truth of Nanjing (170 min), was being played at the museum theater, and the attack on Pearl Harbor wasn't mentioned anywhere in the museum ...... However impressive and touching the museum presentations are, it certainly wouldn't change my view on Japan's role in the World War II in any way.
From Yasukuni Shrine, a short walk took us to the Imperial East Gardens, where we had a glimpse of the Imperial Palace.

6. Imperial Palace.

7. Imperial Palace.

8. Office buildings facing the Imperial Palace moat.

9. Office buildings facing the Imperial Palace moat.

The last stop of the day was Sensoji Temple. Comparing to the temples and shrines we had visited in Kyoto, this place is nothing but tons of people and souvenir shops.

10. Sensoji Temple.

11. A cute little girl wearing a beautiful Kimono posing pictures for people by the gate.

12. Sensoji Temple.

13. Sensoji Temple.

(To be continued)
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