Travel Winter in Japan

Japan Year-end Getaway : Hello Tokyo. We Meet Again!

I have been coming back to Japan several times visiting different places but yet never get a chance to witness its icon, Fuji Mt. I then didn’t forget to put it as a major destination in the itinerary this time. My boyfriend and I planned to visit Lake Yamanaka on the first day of 2019 after depart from Nagoya. Well, unexpected circumstances always happen (maybe for a reason). I was sick from missing out dinner the day earlier (check out the story in the previous post of ‘Nabana no Sato’) and missed our reserved-seat train in the morning.

Day 4 (2019-01-01) : Nagoya – Tokyo

Important things I learned to keep enjoying the situation while traveling are always be positive and go easy to play by ear. We changed the plan heading straight towards Tokyo. Somewhere when the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen we were on was getting closer to Shin-Fuji station, I did experience the silver lining. The atmosphere was perfectly clear, and there, out on the left side of the bullet train’s window, the majestic Fuji San was presenting itself with indigo sky as its stage background. It was very magnificent. We greeted finally! Thank you. This was pretty much of what I ever asked for.

Since it’s the New Year, it would be customary in many countries to go party for celebration. But as we are in Japan, us doing what Japanese do in this special occasion can be grateful. It has been known that it is a tradition to visit a shrine or temple during this time of year. Nonetheless, the popular temples and shrines attract several million people we then decided to visit a little more local one.

Gotokuji Temple

We arrived Tokyo pretty late in the evening. Our designated temple was Gotokuji Temple. I first learned about its existence from one of my favorite Tokyo-based instagrammers whose account called ‘life_in_tokyo’. Gotokuji temple is easily accessed. It takes eight minutes tops to reach the main entrance from Gotokuji station on foot. The uniqueness of this Buddhist temple is it is the birthplace of the maneki-neko (beckoning cat) good luck amulet. The place is dotted with maneki-neko statues having one paw raised which was such an adorable moment to be captured. I used this opportunity to explore the temple and express my wishes in order to accomplish the New Year celebration.

Shinjuku at Night

The rest of our evening was spent in central Tokyo. We strolled around Shinjuku where the streets, at the time, were awfully empty since it’s the first day of 2019 and still on the New Year break. It was such an odd experience seeing one of the world busiest alley this calm and quiet. Nevertheless, it’s still very grateful to be back once on a while!

Also see my next day of adventure in Japan: JAPAN YEAR-END GETAWAY : MIYAGI ZAO FOX VILLAGE

About Gotokuji Temple

  • Address: 2 Chome-24-7 Gotokuji, Setagaya, Tokyo 154-0021, Japan
  • Phone: +81 3-3426-1437
  • Open Hours: 6:00 to 18:00

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