I was almost shrined-out by the time I got to Tokyo, so wasn’t as motivated as I might otherwise have been to visit the Meiji Shrine. It is, however, a beautiful and calm respite from the hectic craze of Tokyo’s urban onslaught. My friend Hikari took me there on a clear and sunny Sunday afternoon (Typhoon Francisco having conveniently given Tokyo a good washing before I arrived). As we walked down the shaded boulevard towards the shrine I began noticing an unusually large number of little kids dressed in kimonos. Adorable. But why so many? Hikari explained that every autumn, if children are the ages of 7 (shichi), 5 (go) or 3 (san) they get dressed up in kimono and visit a shrine. Wikipedia tells me that the formal date for this festival day is November 15, but any time around that date seems acceptable. Given that we were visiting the shrine on a lovely Sunday afternoon meant that many families with small children had the same idea.