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Tour Report on 16 Februrary 2020, Enjoy the contrasts in Meiji shrine and Harajuku tour

Tour Report on 16 Februrary 2020, Enjoy the contrasts in Meiji shrine and Harajuku tour

Thank you for choosing our tours at Meiji Shrine and Harajuku on 16 Februrary 2020. We welcomed 4 guests from UK and France. I hope all of you enjoyed our tour and shared with us an interesting conversation of history and culture for a few hours. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached.

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You might wonder what is the feature of this tour besides viewing Japan’s traditional Shinto shrine. We always suggest the contrast between such traditional atmosphere in first half of the tour and fancy Harajuku town in latter half. The two are totally different kinds but located next to each other.

But there is even more interesting contrast within the Harajuku town. Our guests walk to Takeshita street in Harajuku town, which is known to be youngsters’ fun street with lineup of sweet shops, cloth shops and cafes. So the atmosphere is quite fancy and cute so that children can get easily attracted to it. But just next block to the street is a very conservative place, Togo Shrine.

The shrine is dedicated to worshiping the old time military leader, Admiral Togo who led Japan’s navy during Russo-Japan war (1904-1905). Togo’s navy fleet fought against Russian fleet in the Sea of Japan to prevent Russian troops from arriving in Vladivostok. Togo successfully blocked the Russian fleet and eventually led Japan to the victory of the war. So in the era before second world war, Togo was admired as War God. Nowadays this shrine is where visitors pray for their success in life.

However, history tells his success in the war was heavily attributed to assistance from UK and US, which confronted with Russia at that time. One good example was the battle ship used in the war, Mikasa, which is currently exhibited in Yokosuka city. The ship has been exhibited near the navy base in the city after she retired. The statue of Admiral Togo was erected in front of the ship. It takes about 1 hour to get there from Tokyo by train.

The ship was built in UK. The US helped Russia and Japan to sign on the peace treaty to end the war.

The then US President Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 in recognition of his contribution to the peace talks between Japan and Russia that led to the treaty, known as the Treaty of Portsmouth.

It is really a big contrast with Takeshita street but Togo shrine and Meiji shrine are heavily related. The Russo-Japan war occurred when Meiji Emperor reigned over Japan. The Meiji Emperor entrusted Togo with the war affair.

So there are contrasts as well as a close historical relation between such places in this area.

But one thing in common among those places is each one gives us peaceful and joyful moments. We are living in the peaceful time and cherish peace and good will. We make friends with anyone regardless of nationality. It doesn’t matter if you are American, British, French, Russian or else.

Please come and join us to enjoy such contrasts, history and peaceful atmosphere in this tour!

(Masa)