We spent the afternoon at Harajuku and thought we could catch the cosplayers there on a Sunday.
Instead, after snacking on some Takoyaki (octopus balls, ok that sounded wrong) we wandered into Meiji Jingu, the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shōken.
One moment we were in the busy Harajuku shopping area, and the next, we were strolling in a park in the heart of the city. It was a very pleasant find and totally unplanned.
The park around the Meiji Jingu is lovely and some people were taking walks there, while others went to the shrine to seek blessings. There was a fellow posing like he was walking against the wind, and people dropped coins into his hat for his performance.
A couple dropped some money into his hat and joined him for a photo op. They were very funny, posing with a bottle a wine.
Before entering the Meiji Jingu shrine, you perform an act of purification by washing your hands and mouth at the stone basin.
Inside the shrine, people tossed coins into a box, bowed, clapped twice and prayed.
Some were writing wishes and prayers on wooden votive plaques, called Ema, and hanging them on a rack under the wishing tree.
We spotted a mother and her two lovely kids dressed in kimonos and I could not resist taking photos of the littlest one in her red kimono. She seemed very pleased with the attention from so many tourists and posed for our photos.
Someone from Singapore spotted me taking photos of the little girl and tweeted:
"Just saw @mrbrown taking pictures of little girls at meiji shrine. naughty naughty"
How small is the world indeed.