The Guy with a Map in Tokyo

Nations need armies to win, but explorers need only a Map to conquer the World.


Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is one of the world's most modern cities in terms of its infrastructure and design. However, it is also considered as world's most expensive city, but for travelers like me thanks to its superb rail and subway networks, it is also one of the easiest to get around. That’s all which is required to explore this beautiful city.

With one full day to explore as much as I can, I started as early as I could have from my hotel. Just around the corner from my hotel there was a small temple, so took the blessings of the Gods to make most of this day. I started from Shinagawa Station and got down at Tokyo station to walk my way towards Imperial Palace. The palace is still in use by the Imperial family. During cherry blossom season the palace is one of the most sought out spots in the city for photography. The Palace has been also known as Edo Castle in the past, home to samurai warriors.

Palace is big monument in the heart of the metropolis and consists of numerous parks, where everyone can enjoy a walk or jog in the morning.
Walking around the palace in brisk rains has doubled up the joy. Soon from the nearest subway station boarded a train to Yasukini Jinja Shrine, which is a Shinto shrine in central Tokyo

Shrine was built in 1869 to honour brave soldiers who led their lives in order to build the foundation for a peaceful Japan. In form of written records, details (spirits) of about 2.5 million people, who sacrificed their lives for Japan in the various conflicts, are enshrined here. Details include name, birthplace and date and place of death of brave soldiers.

Adjacent to main shrine stands a memorial dedicated to Dr. Radha Binod Pal, who with utmost honesty tried to defend justice of law during International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) was set up by the Allied powers to try Japanese leaders for “war crimes" and was the only judge to have exonerated Japanese leaders.

Subsequently Dr. Pal was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure First Class by the emperor of Japan, one the country’s highest honours in 1966. Read more about RB PalMemorial.

Alongside the shrine there is a small war museum displaying equipments from World War – II. Likewise this Mitsubishi Fighter aircraft:

And this 1936 made, locomotive from Thai-Burma Railroad:

At a walking distance from the Shrine is the “Indian Embassy”. Cannot share how I felt to celebrate “Incredible India”, outside India.

When the Soul is satiated and the mind is thirsty for more, there is no craving for anything else. Neither I felt hungry nor had had any plans to eat that day, but my friend Kento ensured we do not go hungry. He took me to an Indian restaurant. Thanks, Kento for the wonderful moments.

With a subway map, another subway station and we were all set for Meiji Jingu. Surrounded by 175-acre forest, Meiji Jingu is a Shrine built to commemorate virtues of Emperor Meiji in 1920. 

Wall made of barrels of Sake and Wine is another notable feature of thei Shrine. 

This is one of the most beautiful alleys of Tokyo and must visit for first timers to Japan. Read more about MeijiJingu
Evening was looming large by the time were making exit from Meiji Jingu, but I had to catch Askakuza line for Sensoji Temple at Asakusa district. Got confused for a while, seeing this beautiful subway train, if this train is for regular commuting a showcase model? Vow. 

The Sensoji Temple in Asakuza disgtrict is one of the oldest temples in Tokyo, dedicated to Buddhist Goddess of compassion, Kannon. Temple’s history goes back to the year 645, it was destroyed in 2nd world war, but was rebuilt in the original appearance again. 

The temple is noted for the enormous Thunder Gate with hanging lamps at the entrance, 5 storied Pagoda and Nakamise-dōri Street to buy souvenirs, snacks or even have your fortune told. In the temple premises saw lot of incense sticks being burnt and people cupping their hands around the smoke and applying it for healing. Rightly said, science comes so far and then GOD comes along, power of faith should never be underestimated. Read more about Sensoji Temple.

From the temple premises, you can see a rocket ship like a tower. This is 634-meter-tall Tokyo Skytree, country's tallest structure (and the world's tallest freestanding tower). Opened in 2012, it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Tokyo for panoramic views of Tokyo from the restaurants.

As all good things have to end, the time and dark had arrived to force me to go back to pack my stuff and leave to India next day. For those who believe life is made of moments, I covered lot of them in a city which is one of most modern and extremely rich in culture heritage.
Forgot to mention, night outing on a Yakatabune boat for Japanese traditional meal while enjoying Tokyo skyline floating around on Sumida River. Yakatabune is a must try experience. Check out the setting inside the boat:

Now have to say, Sayonara Japan with amazing memories. Sayonara was the first Japanese word which majority of Indians have learnt, thanks to famous song of the 1960’s, Sayonara Sayonara from the smash hit movie Love in Tokyo.
Keep travelling, keep on accumulating experiences.

Gaurav Verma

A passionate Traveler who wants to see the whole world before hanging his boots. Always ready to explore offbeat and hidden spots. MBA + Engineer from Ivy league colleges, Gaurav is much sought after for his choice of lifestyle activities and Brand promotional campaigns.

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