Naruko Tenjin Shrine – Tokyo

In November of 2018 I made my first trip to Japan, and as I will be returning to Japan in November of 2019 I thought that I would start to share my photos from the 2018 trip.

In 2018 I had yet to start vlogging so I took very little video footage while I was there, but this year I am going for 30 days and I will be filming every day that I am there. Also, my 2018 trip was focused on Tokyo, whereas my 2019 trip is going to be to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto and Kanazawa, with day trips to Nara, Chiba and Yokohama amongst others.

After a 14 hour plane journey and then a horrible navigation of the Tokyo subway system during rush hour with all of my luggage, I made it to my hotel with enough time to have my first 7-11 Conbini food trip. It was much needed because I had been stood in Shinjuku train station for about half an hour, completely lost looking for my subway line. You know how they say that if you look lost in Tokyo that someone will help you within minutes? Not so much if you are a heavily tattooed Englishman with a white goatee 🙂

Before we get onto the shrine let me just mention something about Conbini food. These are convenience stores that are all over Tokyo (in fact I am sure they are all over Japan) where you can get some food and drink on the cheap. While I would highly recommend eating at a local Japanese owned restaurant when you can as the food is incredible, if you are there on a budget then Conbini’s are an absolute must. For breakfast you can pick up your morning coffee, perhaps a pastry and an onigiri or two for less than five bucks. The coffee was a bit of a letdown to an Englishman living in New York, after all I am used to a nice big 16 ounces to start the day, but thankfully there was a Tully’s nearby.

The same goes for dinner, virtually everything in the Conbini’s (7-11, Family Mart, Lawson’s) is not only fresh, but it is delicious as well. It’s as cheap as chips to pick up a gorgeous salad, an onigiri, a desert and a drink and still have change left over from 1,000 yen ($10). The sixteen nights that I was in Tokyo, at least ten of them involved dinner from a Conbini, every breakfast was taken there, and any other snacks that I needed I got from the 7-11 next door. My next trip to Japan is going to be for 30 days, the amount that I will save by eating from a Conbini will be scandalous. Trust me when I say this, the food at these establishments is fresh daily and tastes delicious.

The Family Mart haul, the salad is beyond amazing.

Saturday morning at 5am has arrived.

When I found my hotel on Booking the first thing that I did was look for which temples were close by. The Naruko Tenjin Shrine was literally within a 100 meters of the hotel.

This is probably one of the things that is the least known about me, I simply love culture. This is only one of hundreds of shrines, but I spent around 3 hours there studying every artifact, statue and building. Part of the reason that I am going back to Japan in 2019 is that I can never be bored there, it was the best trip that I have ever taken and I have only scratched the surface of what I can see and do in Japan, indeed perhaps for the whole of Asia.

It does suck that as I have lost both of my brothers and both of my parents so I am not able to share any of this with them, but I can share my experience with the world for those who want to enjoy it. It is important to me that people know that while I am suffering right now, there is still a lot to look forward to. Hopefully it will send a positive message to people who are suffering with loss, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Fuji-Zuka is a hill that is covered with lava rock from the base of Mount Fuji. It was created to worship Mount Fuji and is itself a scaled down replica of Mount Fuji.

It was trickier to climb that it may appear with nothing to hold onto until the very top.

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