Bunka means culture in Japanese. And oh boy, they had butt-loads of bunka! When I think of Japanese culture, the first thing I think about is shrines and temples! The shrines and temples of Japan burst with history and nostalgia so we made our way to a popular shrine up near Harajuku - a 10 minute bus ride to Shibuya then a quick subway ride to Harajuku. The only reason I knew about Harajuku is because of that Gwen Stefani song, "Harajuku girls". The moment we got off the subway, I knew why Gwen wanted to sing a song about this place. The most popular shopping area is on Takeshita dori, which is the first thing you see when you leave Harajuku Station. There's a narrow little road that is bustling with people, vibrant colors, and LOTS of young people. It looks like the highschooler hang out. Steve and I didn't spend much time here other than walking down the little street.
Before entering the shrine, it is proper etiquette to use the Temizuya. It is a small, covered building with a trough and running water. To pay respect to the deities, you must rinse your left hand with the water, rinse your right hand, pour water into your left hand, rinse your mouth, rinse your left hand again, rinse the dipper and allow the remaining water to run down the handle of the dipper.