Exploring Japan

Lost in Tokyo

Lost.. I literally got lost two weeks ago in Tokyo! I was on my way to submit my passport to an authorised Canadian liaison office in Minato-ku, Tokyo but it took me sometime to find their building. After my 5-minute transaction at the said office, I still have more than 3 hours to burn before going to Hikawadai for my class. I decided to continue being lost instead…

Since Tokyo Tower is just a few meters away, I made a brief tour around the area. It has been 5 years since my last visit, it was a nice opportunity for me to revisit the place and see what’s new. Although there were some developments around, I was fascinated with how the old buildings and infrastructures were preserved and blended.


Tori in Tokyo
The Shibadaimon Tori-i Stands Tall in the Middle of a Busy Street with High Buildings and Western Restaurants


Old buildings in Tokyo
An Old Building Blending Well with All the Developments Around


Shibadaimon Street
Hidden Gem in One of the Busy Tokyo Streets


Tokyo Tower
A Good Example of Old and New in Harmony


Knowing that most of the tourists especially the foreigners tend to go straight to Tokyo Tower, I concentrated my sightseeing adventure to Zojoji Temple. It is one of the major Buddhist Temple in Tokyo which served as the family temple of the Tokugawa shogunate. From Daimon station or Hamamatsucho station, the temple can be seen in front of Tokyo Tower. Its majestic gate, known as the Sangedatsumon, welcomes its visitors with awe. Unfortunately at that time the gate was closed, so I needed to enter from the side.


Daiden (Hondo): The Main Hall of Zojoji Temple


Zojoji Temple
My First TIme to See Inside Zojoji Temple”s Main Hall

After paying my respects at the main hall, the greenery at the inner back part caught my attention. My curiosity led me to the Tokugawa Mausoleum where the tombs of Tokugawa shoguns are located.

Zojoji Temple
Mausoleum of the Tokugawa Shoguns: This Gate Made Me Curious to Explore What”s Behind It


Zojoji Temple
The Tombs of the Tokugawa Shoguns


From the mausoleum, I walked a little further uphill at the back of the main hall where I found a small teahouse. There were also some small deities decorated with colorful adornments located near the gates.


Small Deities Adorned with Colorful Ornaments inside Zojoji Temple Compound

Walking around, I noticed that one of the main features of the city is its advocacy for peace. There were several landmarks and statues that promotes peace initiated by the locals living in the area.


Peace Tower in Tokyo
Children’s Peace Tower Dedicated by Minato City’s Elementary and Middle School Students to Children Around the World


Minato-ku, Tokyo
The Goddess of Peace Near Shiba Strip Park


From Hamamatsucho station, I went to Ikebukuro via Yamanote Line. From there I will change to Yurakucho to go to Hikawadai station for my English class. Still an hour and a half early, I decided to walk around Ikebukuro station to find something to eat. My search for a not-so-crowded restaurant led me to the roof deck of Seibu Department Store. All my efforts of finding the place paid off! The rooftop garden is a haven!!!

Hanging Garden in Ikebukuro
Inside Seibu Rooftop Garden: The Wooden Steps which Serve also as Sitting Area


Water Lily Pond
The Water Lily Pond in Seibu Rooftop Garden: Feels Like I am in Monet”s Garden


Water Lily Pond In Tokyo
A Small Bridge in the Middle of the Water Lily Pond: Heaven on Top of Ikebukuro


Seibu Ikebukuro Rooftop Garden
Chairs and Picnic Tables to Relax the Busy Tokyo People


Seibu Rooftop Garden
There are Food Stalls that Offer Different Delicacies Too


Cacti Store in Tokyo
Different Varieties for Cacti Lovers For Sale


Seibu Ikebukuro Rooftop Garden Finds
Cactus for JPY50,000 (USD400 est)


Seibu Ikebukuro Rooftop Finds
Aside from Cacti, They also have Fishes for Sale


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