Tokyo cont.: Asakusa 浅草

∼October 29, 2012∼

Hello everybodyy~
I'm sure some of you are tired of these Tokyo posts, but it is a bit of a shame to let these stay in my drafts forever. As some might know, I was in Japan for three months (look here) and while I was there I was around quite a lot. In this blog-post I will talk about........ Asakusa! Also: remember to join my give-away :-)

Asakusa was one of my favorite spots to be!
I lived on the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line, but to get to Asakusa you have to transfer to the Ginza Line. I go on and it's suuuuuch a long ride to Asakusa, I believe its maybe 25 minutes?! I know you must be thinking: "that's not that bad", but after living in Japan waiting 5 minutes is a frickin' long a time! ^0^ After nearly falling asleep (like so many other Japanese people) I finally get there and it is sooooooooooo crowded! You would not believe how many people were there. There are many exit in Asakusa Station, but I don't remember which one I got out off, but the shop street Nakamise-dori 仲見世通り which leads to the temple was just by the corner of the exit!

I was so wow'ed when I got there. Asakusa seems to feel a lot more traditional Japanese, maybe sort of a small Kyoto feel? In Nakamise-dori we have little shops and restaurants. It varies a lot what they are selling, but mostly stuff for tourists? like souvenirs, kimono, ninja-shoes and much more. In the picture below I see a soba そば and udon うどん restaurant.

IMHO Asakusa is by far the best place to buy souvenirs just because it's so like.... JAPANESE? like everything they sell is very typical traditional Japanese. I'm not talking about Hello Kitty & Pokemon Japanese, but more old traditional things ^-^

Because these pictures were one of the first time I was in Asakusa, I was honestly so shy and timid haha. I took these pictures for the blog, but I wasn't sure it was allowed! Me being a crimerider: I did it anyways lol. Here's some things they sold. I bought handkerchiefs from here! ^-^

Another similar shop, but slightly different things inside. These shops were quite expensive.

Going further down the street I see beautiful ladies in their kimonos. You don't see that in Shibuya or Harajuku .____. !

A kabuki statue! Funny thing is that I saw people taking pictures of this statue so I did too, but only to realize that people were actually taking pictures of the Tokyo Skytree in the background. Doh!

Now we're getting closer to the temple Sensō-ji and we are still on Nakimise-dori. Here they sell a lot of other souvenirs  We have lots of Geisha & Kabuki themed items: fans, pictures, cloths, hangers, key chains, ukiyo-e and all sorts of other little things. They were also selling food and desserts and lots of green tea flavored desserts. These shops were selling things cheaper or cheaper things.

*SPAZZEZ* Isn't it just so pretty~?! Everything in Asakusa is like so darn colorful! hihi.

Tada! I've come to the entrance of the temple! The Kaminarimon! Unfortunately we have this man in the foreground who just kept standing there and posing LOL.

The other side of the entrance is called Hōzōmon and here there are little stands where the sell various of food and desserts. Starting from left to right: 氷 koori: shaved ice with syrup, やきそば yakisoba: fried noodles, やきとり yakitori: grilled chicken.

So many people right? This is an normal day btw. You should have seen it at Sanja Matsuri! There were around 1-2 million people! and men wearing thongs.. lol.. There are tourist from all over the world and also just Japanese people here. You can see the Sensō-ji here.

Here we see people tying their Omikuji to a metal wire. These Omikuji are fortune slips and it either says like you're lucky or unlucky. I think you're supposed to fold and bind it to the Omikuji when it's bad luck, but I most people were tying it.

In the middle of the area we have a incense burner and people are waving at the smoke toward themselves. It's supposed to wish you for good health or make you feel better. eg. if you head hurts, you wave smoke towards your head.

I don't think I was allowed to take pic, but you make a wish and then you throw a coin. You can see how people are taking money from wallet and I swear people were like throwing the money and hoping it would land right.

From the temple I saw a big group so I went over there because of my curiosity.

There was a show! No money was given though. It was so funny and interesting too. Both adults and kids loved this and I did too.

I walked around a little more and I saw more personal stands where people show their crafts. These were very expensive glasses. Some were also selling toys, calligraphy and so.

More food stands nom nom!

Here's another entrance to Nakimise-dori, but at this point I was just walking around like a confused girl. I wasn't really sure where was what lol

An amusement park very close by!

Then I walked further and I saw this really shady place with only men hahaha I think it's the gamer spot because people were like waving money, crossing papers and listening to the radio like there is a horserace going on.

I finally found my way into the Nakimise-dori again. There are so many streets here haha.

Here's some homemade toys. I was standing there and as you can see, it's not cheap. I was just observing when two Japanese adults, a man and a women, came and started talking to me and they showed me how these worked. The idea with these toys are that you spin it and it will do something. eg. the long blue stick when spun will look like Mount Fuji when in motion and the small little one: the round end will be top after spun. We were talking and laughing and then the man bought me a gift! I must be a lucky girl as the shop owner because that hasn't happen before. I was so happy that day because how often does that EVER happen? No matter what country you're in.

After walking for quite a bit, I found a spot to relax. I remember it being on the right when you enter Kaminarimon and there is a toilet nearby.

Another show was taking place but I did not enjoy this as I thought they were treating the monkeys a bit too cruel for my taste.

Ema. You put your wishes on these wooden plates. I hear Luck and Love is pretty popular thing to wish for. Like getting a boyfriend by the end of the year ;-)

I have a break time and I finally buy me self some たこやき takoyaki: ball-shaped snack with octopus inside..

After exploring the temple for a while I walked towards the Skytree and I saw there was a river side in Asakusa! I sat here for a while and just looked at the view and the people.

Me wanting to see more, so I walked along the river side and there was a small amateur live performance!

After that, I took a picture with the Skytree! Excuse me! HAHA I am chubby bunny I see hahaha didn't realize that until after I got back.

I went on this rickshaw which is basically someone driving you around on the bike and they tell you about Asakusa. It was rather expensive, but worth it. My guide was extremely friendly and his English was good. I already had another appointment that day so my rickshaw ride was the end of my Asakusa trip ;-)

I went to Harajuku afterwards and look at this crazy old man!

A bit of topic hehe, but I will say that Asakusa was definitely a must visit place! I lived near Shibuya and I couldn't have wanted a better location, but Asakusa is OK. It's not the best, but not the worst either because it has some attractions there. Only con about Asakusa is that it's just too darn far! ^-^ But I have experienced that people are so nice here. Maybe because there are just so many tourists from so many places which is why they are so friendly there.

How to get there: Ginza Line (G), orange line or Asakusa Line, light purple

Hope you guys liked this post!
- Sally <3

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