I made the most out of full day layover in Tokyo by taking the bullet train to Shibuya, Tokyo to visit the Meiji Jingu, a beautifully serene and austere Shinto shrine dedicated to the defied spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.
Lunch in Shibuya with new Friends
While the shrine was definitely a highlight, lunch in Shibuya was even more memorable. I met a few friendly locals that I’ve managed to stay in touch with. One of them named Tsunao invited me to join his email list. Little did I know what a treat I was signing up for. Each full moon, without fail, I receive an email with the subject line “Today is Full moon.” Each email contains a beautifully written and topical poem from Tsunao. He writes the first half in Japanese, then kindly translates the poem into English. The poems often contain humorous anecdotes about his life in Tokyo, his favorite dish of the season, the weather, or occasionally more serious topics.
Each month I anticipate receiving Tsunao’s email. Sometimes it catches me by surprise, serving as a gentle reminder and alternate measure of time as another full moon passes.
It’s telling how even just a daylong layover in a new city can have such an impact. If you keep an open mind, travelling can be an extremely rewarding experience.