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December 30, 2012

Kizuna Day 1 (16 December 2012)

My last paper finished on Friday, mad rush to get everything I needed by Sunday!

After stepping into the Japanese embassy on Sunday afternoon, luggage in hand and with absolutely no idea what I was in for, no mental (or actual) preparation whatsoever, we were all briefed and sent on the plane!

Airports


Day 1 was a pretty chillax day without much scheduled for us other than administrative matters and checking into the hotel. After lunch, headed to Meiji Jingu!

Meiji Shrine
Meiji Shrine (明治神宮 Meiji Jingū), located in Shibuya, Tokyo, is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.(x)


It was a pretty long foresty walk to the shrine, which was compensated by the pretty autumn foliage. Running through the pathway (to catch up to the two super tall people in the top photo), against the cold winter air, was kind of exhilarating and fun haha.

Observed a certain ritual for praying at the shrine (Bow twice, clap twice, bow once, pray..? Can't really remember :/). Wooden pray tablets with heartwarming messages.

At that moment, I made a silent request to the skies above, fueled by the kindness and goodness of the atmosphere-

"I wish for everyone I care for, to always have an abundance of love and peace in their hearts."

Shinjuku

Went to Shinjuku (in hopes) to shop on our first night out! Unfortunately didn't have much chance to get anything that wasn't (1) pretty but useless (2) overpriced, so we just soaked in the metropolitan and christmasy landscape. Also, made the ironic decision to eat ice cream in the already icy (plus rainy) weather because #yolo haha.

Japanese ice creams are so awesome and creative! Gotta go to the Japanese store at starvista to get more!!

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