A Japan Journey 2007
This was a full day and by dinnertime I was exhausted. We went sightseeing and were lucky enough to witness the Sanjaya Matsuri festival in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, where there were more people then what I previously imagined. The streets, sidewalks and alleys were filled. I did not feel uncomfortable being tall, and white until an older man pointed at my belly and asked if I was pregnant. He expressed his apology when I laughed and shook my head. He gave me a 100 yen and proceeded showed me how to make an offering by throwing the yen and then speaking a prayer. I also witnessed groups of men and even some children holding what looked to me as a shrine of some sort on their shoulders, bouncing down the street all the while chanting. Masses of people would gather to watch as the shrine bearers proceeded down the street.
In the afternoon I experienced my first restaurant experience where we took our shoes off and kneeled at the table. Initially I thought this was neat but, as I have said before, I am quite tall and any length of time on my knees is uncomfortable. The food was great and not as different as I presumed. We continued on to the Meiji Shrine which was larger then I expected. It was here I witnessed a wedding. I also learned quite quickly shrine steps were not places to rest. It was embarrassing when I tried to sit on the shrine steps and was told I couldn’t sit because of the holiness of the shrine. There didn’t seem to be a lot of places such as
benches to rest and people seem to walk everywhere. This first full day I realized how out of shapeI am. We also visited Yoyogi park. By this time I was very tired,
but the park was brimming with people and had entertainment of all types. The park included singers, dancers, bagpipe players, rockabilly club dancers, bikers and skaters doing tricks. The first day was jammed packed and I needed a nap. I was so tired I slept through the visit to the Tokyo Tower.