Tracking the perimeter, past the shrine walls and back into the forest, trees still heavy from the rain.
Ema 絵馬, wooden plaques for making prayers or wishes, hanging at Meiji Jingū 明治神宮. These are a common sight at shrines and their pleasing aesthetic arrangement makes photography almost obligatory.
After the long gravel path among the trees, damp, shielded from the city noise, the shrine itself and its vast courtyard.
Lucky timing produced an extra dose of Japanese culture, a traditional wedding ceremony in progress.
Check in at Cerulean Tower セルリアンタワー complete, a brief stop in the room to refresh and soak in the view of the city, then back down to the train station to ride the Yamanote Line 山手線 around to Harajuku 原宿 and its busy little Edwardian station. There are plans for the station's redevelopment which do away with the original wooden building, replacing it with an aggressive glass and metal façade, so I hope they consider alternative designs to retain its current charm.
The adjacent bridge and park are known as Sunday gathering spots for alternative fashion and more, but the earlier rain had driven most aficionados away. A kind of cosplay コスプレ, people dress in oft elaborate costumes and make-up, performing for passers-by or just hanging out. They can, here, as Gibson described it best, dream in public.
But my aim was exploring the entrapped evergreen forest complex of Meiji Jingū 明治神宮, a famous Shintō 神道 shrine. Above, the enormous entrance torii 鳥居.
Approaching 3 PM, quirky stores at the lower end of Center Gai センター街 as I made my way back to the hotel to escape the rain and check in.
Adjacent, a narrow street with doors to all manner of internet comic cafés, sushi 寿司, karaoke カラオケ and more. Some, the frontage just a metre wide, shuttered, indeterminate, leading up or down to who knows what.
After weaving through to the bottom of the slope, from Inokashira Dōri 井の頭通り looking south over Center Gai センター街. All over, clutched shopping bags flashing brands from beneath umbrellas.