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The Essence of Japan (continued)
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Our next objective is the Shinjuko-Goyen Garden which is located northeast of Yoyogi Park. Entry is free today and many locals are taking advantage of that fact and the good weather to gather in the park (above), where we find some spectacular roses
We then make our way to the shrine itself (above), which is another crowded area, but do not remain here long as we are due to visit here tomorrow with the group. Visitors to the shrine leave messages and prayers (right)
Our final objective prior to returning to the hotel Is the Hanazona Shrine (above). We find this tucked away amongst buildings in the East Shinjuku  area - it is a calm and surprising oasis amongst the encircling concrete towers, with a tree-filled compound surrounding the traditional vermilion and white shrine
The following day, we return to the Meiji Shrine with the rest of the Titan group (above and left)
With our first week in Japan coinciding with 'Golden Week' (the week that contains a number of Public Holidays), we are due to see several wedding ceremonies as well as large crowds in all the major tourist sites.
 
Our day's excursion continues with a visit to Tokyo's Imperial Palace's garden which includes a pretty landscaped area with a pond (below), and the Honmaru, the former keep from where there are views over the park which is mainly grassed with specimen trees
We arrive at the very crowded Senso-ji Temple at noon. The temple is popularly known as Asakua Kannon and is Tokyo’s most sacred and spectacular temple. This is a very large area but the holiday crowds make it quite difficult to get round. In addition to the temple compound there is a long, narrow alley (Nakamise-dori) which is crammed with small shops and eateries. After viewing the shrine, the Hozo-mon gate, and the five-storey pagoda, we visit the incense burner and then explore the narrow alley
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