Tokyo 2014! Tokyo Tower and New Year’s Eve at Zojoji Temple

As 2013 drew to a close, we headed up to Tokyo Tower…

I always thought Tokyo Tower was…well, a tower, I never realized it had a huge shopping arcade with restaurants, and even an aquarium, all beneath it.  We didn’t really look around the shops, though I did see a huge dried squid with a Hello Kitty emblem charred onto it (why?!)

The views from the main observatory were pretty impressive, we could even see Mount Fuji!  The only downside was that the glass windows were covered smudges and hand-prints.

Smudge culprit in action!

Tokyo has to be one of the cleanest cities on Earth; we never get skies this clear and blue in Ulsan!

Looking out to the Rainbow Bridge.

Sunset over Tokyo; you can sort of see Mount Fuji in the distance, too!

When leaving the Tower, you have the choice of taking the elevator back down, or walking down the Tower’s external staircase; we chose the latter!  And man, it was chilly!

Eoin wasn’t amused.

At the bottom, looking up!

From Tokyo Tower, we headed over to Zojoji Temple, just a quick hop and a skip away!

The temple was setting up for their hatsumode festivities, when Japanese families make their prayers for the new year.

We headed out to Roppongi for dinner before catching the subway back out to Tokyo Tower, where crowds had already begun descending.

This was the crowd outside of the subway entrance, waiting to cross the street towards the Tower.  Even though it was completely packed, no one was pushing or shoving.

It was quite an experience to bring in the New Year like this; there weren’t any fireworks (though someone did pop open a bottle of champagne), but it was a nice change to see the crowds of people making their prayers for the New Year, hear the temple bell ringing, and smell the burning incense.

There were also loads of vendors selling Japanese street food and trinkets.

Takoyaki!

Okonomiyaki!

Pikachu!

Happy New Year, everybody! xoxo

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