(Okay, okay I'll tell those of you that don't know. The 47 Ronin are a group of samurai warrior who lost their lord and became ronin. They were ordered not to take revenge on the man responsible for their lord's death so they waited many years to do so and attacked when least expected. They presented the head of their enemy to their lord and then all committed honorable suicide for not following an order.)
At Sengakuji, one can see their tombs and also the well where they washed their enemy's head. Being in the cemetery made the whole event seem so real! I ran into a couple from DC who said that before they read about this temple they didn't even realize the story was an actual historic event!
If you are in Tokyo and at all interested in kimono of any sort, I would highly suggest this shop! Kahori is very helpful, speaks GREAT English, and doesn't rip you off like big department or chain stores. I can't speak enough kind words about her.
TIL: don't try to hike on days with high rain forecasts unless you are a well-prepped climber.
Instead of climbing, we headed to sawai which was one station away for some tasty Nihonshu (sake). Another reason why you should bring a Japanese with you, they know ALL of the great places!
After that we parted ways for a while and I headed to Harajuku to buy cookies before meeting back up with the group in Shibuya. From there we walked to Kitsune, a new bar/club/event space in the area, for a "Tokyo Party." I wasn't sure what to expect, but I paid Y1,000 for unlimited drinks for 3 hours and then got to chat with a bunch of Japanese people and foreigners alike. It was quite fun!
Tanabata, a Night for Lovers
I believe I heard the monk leading the service say that because it was raining today in China, the lovers would not be able to meet. This is because there must be good weather in Japan, Korea, and China for it to occur. But either way the event was quite wonderful!
It was my first time to visit Zojoji and I'm not sure why (it is a 20 minute walk from work, and not far from the station I use every day...). Not only was I able to enjoy this temple, but I was also able to listen in on a daily Buddhist ceremony in the temple, write my wishes on a slip of colorful paper and tie them to a bamboo tree, take lots of photos, and enjoy the scenery of a temple just below Tokyo Tower and a lantern lighting event for the holiday.
All-in-all I am quite glad I went out to enjoy Tanabata even though I had to do so alone. Maybe someday.