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Sunday, May 27, 2018

From Tokyo Streets to Kasuga Taisha Shrine


Walking the Tokyo streets in the evening we can see many people flooding the enormous pedestrian walkways. It seems people here, although they are famous for their hard working for long hours, yet don’t go home straight-away after work. They like to stroll the streets, the shops, the coffee shops and bars after work. The atmosphere is lively, many of them are just chit-chatting outside bars or at the squares in Shinjuku.


Shinjuku area is constantly a bustling, busy town, being a business district in the day and an entertainment district at night. This area initially flourished as a post town for travellers, and gradually developed into a downtown area after the railway station was completed after the Meiji period. Furthermore, many of the lines used by majority of the people living in East Tokyo gather at Shinjuku, evolving the station into a huge terminal.


If you are into youth fashion, there is nowhere in the world that people can see such a dynamic, colorful and youthful street fashion culture with fascinating styles changing every day like what  is happening in Japan, especially Tokyo, the new raising fashion capital of the world. 


If you're looking for certain youth fashion styles, Takeshita Street , and the surrounding areas,  offer countless different unique styles. You can get band shirts, 'princess' style, goth style, and even costumes. That's what makes this street so unique and popular. You can buy everything from boots to earmuffs, and band t-shirts to badges in lots of styles you might not get at home - and at decent prices, too.


It hard to imagine how fashion of Japanese pop culture has developed into such a free style trend that value individual uniqueness in a country of collectivism, focusing on harmony, politeness, hierarchy and tradition.


Away from the busy streets, there is another world.  Inside a grove of trees through the winding path with 3000  various sizes of stone lanterns along the walk , stands the Kasuga Taisha temple. It is a Shinto shrine, its location was purposefully chosen inside a grove of trees. Shinto is deeply connected with nature and walking through the woods makes it feel you are in another time, even though you are just a few miles away from the busy streets. 


The 3000 lanterns are symbolic of the 3000 Kasuga shrines spread throughout Japan. Each lantern is donated by a citizen to show thanks and support to the shrine. Writing on each lantern shows which deity the lantern is donated to, or the person’s name that donated the lantern.

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