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Not everything is glitzy and expensive in Ginza-- Komparu-yu, the oldest senta (bath house) in Ginza, retains it's original two baths. One is nurui (lukewarm) and the other is atatakai (hot); the lukewarm bath, however, is hot enough for most visitors. Entrance is within 500 yen; a steal considering that these baths have survived since 1863.
El Palacio Imperial es la residencia oficial del Emperador y la Emperatriz de Japón desde que Tokio pasó a ser la capital política e imperial del país en 1868. Ubicado en la vieja parte interior del Castillo Edo, el asiento del shogun Tokugawa, esta construcción fabulosa ubicada en el corazón mismo de Tokio, está rodeada de muros y fosos que impiden ver a los residentes. Solamente en dos ocasiones al año (el 2 de enero, para Año Nuevo, y el 23 de diciembre, el cumpleaños del emperador Heisei), es posible ver a la familia real y al emperador, quienes se posicionan detrás de unos grandes ventanales a prueba de bala para saludar a la multitud.
Tsukiji Honganji Temple was established in 1617 in the Yoshiwara area of Tokyo. It was relocated to Tsukiji after the great fire of 1657. The current architecture resembles that of Indian temples and was designed by Chuta Ota in 1935. Once a major complex of over fifty temples, Tsukiji Honganji is now noted for being the biggest temple in Japan made entirely of stone. This is the final resting place of the famous Edo Period artist, Hoitsu Sakai (1761-1828). The temple is also considered to be a pilgrimage owing to the artifacts of Prince Shotoku, Shinran Shonin, and Shonyō Shōnin preserved here.
First opened in 1935, the historic Tsukiji fish market created an outer market region, thanks to its massive popularity. Known as the Tsukiji Outer Market, this vibrant landmark sells a variety of items like fresh produce, fish, utensils as well as ready to eat food. The market came into existence as a need to cater to non-wholesale customers, who were initially barred from entering the area for it was solely commercial. Even though the historic inner market has shut shop, you can still enjoy the unique shopping culture at the Outer Market.
The National Diet Building was built in 1936. It is about 65.5 meters (215 feet) high and takes up 103 square meters (1108.7 square feet) of space. There are two free tours available: the first one is offered by the House of Representatives (this tour is not offered on Saturdays, Sundays and a holidays) and the second one is offered by the House of Councilors. In these tours, you will see the lobby, conference hall and central hall of the National Diet Building. You don’t need to book in advance if you're going with less than nine people.
Named after Kyoto's famous Mount Atago in Arashiyama, Tokyo's Atago Jinja Shrine is a picturesque Shinto shrine on the hill. The striking red gate of the shrine opens to a large complex which was originally built during the 16th Century and rebuilt in 1958. During the Edo period it was also a choice location for cherry-blossoms. To approach the hillside shrine you must make a choice between two sets of stairs--easy and a difficult! You will find the Benten shrine in the center of a pond. An added attraction is the teahouse for a well-earned rest and refreshment.
Built as a tribute to the soldiers and war heroes of Japan, the Yasukuni Shrine is a notable Shinto Shrine of the country. The shrine commemorates 2,466,532 people comprising of civilians and military and also including those from Taiwan and Korea who once served under the Japanese Emperor. Chinreisha, a separate shrine on the premise houses memorials for the soldiers who fought in opposition to Japan. The architecture of the wooden shrine is remarkable with green and gold embellished roofs and massive courtyards and quadrants dappled with cherry blossoms. The shrine has been a center of conflict, however, is also the hub for several festivals and events of the city. An intriguing site, the Yasukuni Shrine has garnered a lot of attention from locals as well as tourists.
A Zen temple and a Shinto shrine (dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of harvests) co-exist on this site. This scenario was common until the Meiji restoration, when temples and shrines were officially separated. In the compound is a small shrine in honor of a famous Edo Period administrator, Tadasuke Ohoka. Two fox statues flank the main temple, which is protected by many small Inari shrines. While the architecture and presence of Shinto deities is glaring, the temple remains largely Buddhist. The renowned feature of the temple is Reiko-Zuka or Hill of Foxes, the shrine dotted with hundreds of fox statues wearing red bibs around their neck. Reiko-Zuka is dedicated to fox who is considered the messenger of God.
The elegant Akamon, a symbol of the University of Tokyo, is also an important national cultural treasure. Built to welcome Yasuhime, the daughter of the 13th generation Shogun Ienari, on her visit to the samurai Maeda Family in 1828, the gate got its name from its beautiful vermilion color, and its eaves still retain the Maeda Family crest. While you are on the grounds, pause to consider this century-old masterpiece.
Imado Jinja Shrine was built in 1083. This shrine suffered damage due to war and earthquakes, however it has been rebuilt each time. Imado Shrine is a famous place of marriage, and many people who want to find their true love visit here. This shrine is the birthplace of "Manekineko," a figure shaped like a cat that is said to be a symbol of prosperity and happiness.
Este ejemplo perfecto de arquitectura Shinto, que exhibe colores apagados y líneas simples, fue inaugurado en 1920 para conmemorar el fallecimiento del emperador Meiji en 1912. Rodeado de unas 72 hectáreas de árboles y centenares de especies de flora japonesa que crecen en el Parque Meiji Jingu, este es uno de los santuario es más pintorescos y sagrados del país. El anexo de la Casa del Tesoro Imperial exhibe el carruaje y algunos recuerdos de la coronación del emperador Meiji y la emperatriz Shoken.