Because it was only a short visit, we stuck to just two Tokyo neighborhoods: Shibuya and Harajuku. Some favorite moments:
+ being immediately blown away by the train from the airport which, when it reached the end of the line, rotated all its seats so they faced forward for the new direction
+ meeting with friends from college after five years (!) for Japanese tapas -- the shark's fin soup was the surprise runaway favorite
+ testing out the most complex photobooth I've ever been in -- this required some serious skill!
+ discovering little shrines and temples in the most unexpected places -- up a long staircase or down a leafy alleyway
+ admiring the huge decorative sake barrels at the entrance to Meiji shrine -- they represent annual donations to the shrine from Japanese sake brewers
+ figuring out how to cleanse our hands and mouths at this simple fountain before entering the shrine -- thank you random stranger who didn't comment on my blatant copy-catting :)
+ reading the many prayers and wishes left by others on slim wooden ornaments (first image)
+ diving into the narrow inner lanes to discover hidden gems like a bright-red teapot-shaped watercan, and to unnerringly find ourselves in what seemed be Tokyo's answer to the Mission...there be hipsters here :)
+ enjoying snacks at the cute cafe that served my tea with a tiny hour glass -- so I would know exactly when to remove the tea bag!
Have any of you been to Japan? What were your favorite places to visit?