I arrived in Tokyo with some coworkers on a job related education trip to the Japanese War Museum. After settling into our hotel, we went out to explore the Imperial Palace, visit the museum, and visit a Shinto Temple. We went to the subway and went to the Imperial City. We walked around the Imperial City admiring the moat and talking about how hard it would be to siege the palace during World War II. We watched the changing of the guard and got as close to the Emperor’s residence as we possibly could. From there, we walked to the War Museum.
We paid for our tickets, but had to rush through it because we had only an hour to go through the museum before it closed. The museum was definitely a study in prospective. In the museum, it plays out World War II as an act of American aggression citing a meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill in which they discuss the oil embargo against Japan. This, they claim, was a ploy to expand their colonial holding by making Japan weak. This, they claim, is why Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The end of the war was also different. According to the museum, it was ended due to the Emperor’s enlightenment to end the loss of life.
After the museum, we went to a Shinto temple. This temple was huge; spanning four city blocks and containing an outdoor market that rivals any in the states. We went shopping in the market; buying trinkets for ourselves and our families. It was amazing all the various merchandise they had available from a hundred variety of chop sticks to coach purses. We went to the actual temple itself and it was massive and gorgeous. There were little strips of paper with prayers on them in Kenji tied to strings around the temple. In the center of the temple was a giant box with slits in it where you said a prayer and threw in yen.
I said a prayer to god and threw in a one yen. From the temple we went to the closest subway and made our way back to our hotel to shower and get ready for supper. We decided to eat at a traditional Japanese sushi go around. I like more cooked sushi so I stayed with the shrimp nidiri more than anything else. After supper, we walked to Shibouya to say we have been to the world’s largest crosswalk.