Tokyo - Sumida River and Imado-jinja (Day 2 Part 1)

March 08, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Day 2 in Japan was really my first full day there and I had an aggressive agenda planned. I love getting up early and exploring. When I travel I really want to feel like I live in the area so I walk all the local streets getting up even before the sun rises. As I left my room the friendly staff of the Hotel wished me well. They were always so cheerful no matter what time of day it was.

Maneki-Neko Greeting at AzumabashiManeki-Neko Greeting at Azumabashi

 

After walking some side streets and getting to know the area a little better during daylight I decided to head down to the river again. I grew up near water and always feel most comfortable in an area with a river or ocean access.

Near the heart of Asakusa is the heavily travelled Azumabashi (Azuma bridge). I could not resist the beckoning cat at the entrance which would become the theme of the morning. As it was too early to grab a bite to eat I picked up a nice warm coffee from a vending machine near my hotel and drank it along the river.

Asakusa is very peaceful in the morning. The tourists show up around 10:00 am in droves. Taking advantage of the quite time I walked along the Sumida River again. I enjoyed the sounds of the birds and an occasional train. There were a few locals jogging or walking their dogs and the occasional feral cat which the park had many of.

Pair of beckoning cat's at Imado-JinjaPair of beckoning cat's at Imado-Jinja

I had read of a small shrine in Asakusa called Imado-jinja. The shrine is one of two shrines in Tokyo that claim to be the birthplace of the famous Maneki-Neko statues that are common around the world these days also known as the “Beckoning Cat”

I arrived at Imado-jinja before the shrine opened but greatly enjoyed the atmosphere. This is a relatively small shrine but surrounded by so many charming cat statues I found myself smiling during my entire time there. A few locals stopped to pray on their way to work or school but mostly I was alone there.

Dog statue at a cat shrineDog statue at a cat shrine

Oddly I found one dog statue at the shrine. I wonder how it felt about living among all the cat statues…

To see more pictures of Asakusa or to order prints please visit my set http://kfrates.zenfolio.com/p678304499

Day 2 will be continued…


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