A window inside life at Augustana College

Takeshita-dori, Temples, and Tons of Fun!

This spring break, I traveled over 6000 miles with the Augustana Symphonic Band to Japan! We spent an amazing 12 days on tour (well, really ten if you subtract for travel) exploring Osaka, Kyoto, Hakone, and Tokyo! I don’t want to overload you all with a giant picture dump, but I have a few that I’d love to share for right now.


This temple is literally covered in gold foil—over 40 pounds of the stuff! Although you can’t go inside the temple, the band walked around the gardens and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.


A stunning view of a few of Tokyo’s skyscrapers! The Tokyo Metropolitan Govt. Building had an observatory on the top floor that gave you a 360 degree view of the city. I have a ton of pictures from this building, but this is one of my personal favorites.


A lot of these gates were burned down during WWII, and I think this one was rebuilt slightly after the war. I can’t even begin to explain how large this was; the picture doesn’t do it any justice!


Thunder Gate! One of our tour pieces is called “Bookmarks from Japan” by Julie Giroux. The fourth movement is called Thunder Gate and it was amazing to see it in person. I couldn’t get the song out of my head the entire time I was there! Past the gate was a street lined with tons of shops selling local goods and food. I picked up a lot of souvenirs here and some ice cream for myself!


The famed Takeshita-dori! This is the place for fashion in Tokyo, and it had been my dream to walk down it for years! You can probably notice how packed the street is; it was intense! Many Japanese girls dress up in lolita fashion and walk down this street, hoping to get noticed by an agent and snag a modeling job. I looked around several world-famous lolita shops including Wonder Rocket, Bodyline, and Closet Child. If only I had saved more money—everything was so cute! I did manage to pick up some clothes, though. And, come on. I walked down Takeshita Street! Even if I didn’t get any clothes, I still would have been just as happy with the experience alone.


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