Monday, November 18, 2013

Off Downtown to Ameyoko and Asakusa!

After the peace of Ueno Zoo we walked a little distance to Ameyoko (*⌒∇⌒*)

 Really, it's just a little distance away, because I'm just not one of those prone to long walks lol it was still within Ueno area, just off the Ueno Station. We had to ask our way there but we got there nonetheless. Just one of those little places in Tokyo that you visit to see what it's all about. Originally called Ameyo-Yokochou with 'ameya' referring to candy stores, this shopping street has all sorts of stuff on sale like fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, clothes and of course candy hahaha there are a handful of streetside restaurants too. Not exactly a tourist attraction but it's fun to look at the stuff that housewives here purchase on a daily basis haha moving no, as the clock says, it's lunchtime! Didn't know where to eat so we randomly picked an air conditioned place (can you blame us, it's summer!) and settled for some refreshing cool soba. Here's how the restaurant looks like on the inside, so retro got old school beer ad poster on the wall somemore. 

After lunch, it was Asakusa time! ❤ I've been so looking forward to this. The last time I was within the vicinity it was just to catch a quick lunch at this famous tenpura place at the corner right next to Sensoji Temple Kaminarimon entrance. Now I can finally go in and explore properly yay! Too bad we were too full to go for the tenpura, it was real good. Blog about it next time because it was Japan Trip #1. 

This is Japan Trip #3 in case you've forgotten, dear 80-year-old-future-self. 

The famous Kaminarimon entrace to Sensoji Temple.

Take one step past the gate and you find Nakamise Street

SO MANY PEOPLE ON A WEEKDAY. But how awesome is this whole stretch of shops heading to the main Sensoji Temple. Super awesome if you ask me. I believe I spent more time here at the shops than at the main temple building. What, shopping can be culture too (ಠ_ಠ) Perfect street to buy souvenirs, there are tons of stuff on sale here including postcards, candies, yukatas, specialty snacks, tee shirts and many more small items for everyone to bring back to their families. I love my travel partner YK! Almost everytime we visit a particular tourist attraction, by mutual silent agreement we'll naturally split up to attend to our own agenda. She goes straight to the main point to take lots of photographs while I get myself distracted with ice creams and contributing to the national economy. I mean, just look at all these shops and their colourful knick knacks! The popular stores always have pictures of celebrities who've been there haha I kept my eye open for sightings of Arashi member pictures but not my luck I suppose. 

Bought myself some ramune soda to quench the summer thirst. Nothing spells summer in Japan like ramune does. It was so refreshing and delicious! Now here, my absolute favourite store in all of Japan. The MATSUMOTO KIYOSHI drugstore. All the skincare, snacks and beauty products you'll ever need. Forever on sale, forever irresistable! Really HAVE to enter no matter how many times I pass by one every day in Japan, and these durgstores are everywhere and always so close to each other. Still, can't resist! ٩(●˙▿˙●)۶ 

Snacks for sale. Spot the konpeito. Regret not getting any!


Finally came to my culture-appreciation senses and moved forward to the real deal - Sensoji Temple.

Actually I think that's the Hozomon entrance. The actual temple is right inside. So many gates saya pun taktau. Luckily admission is free, I think I spent too much on ice creams. Sensoji Temple, also knowns as Asakusa Kannon Temple, is undoubtly the most popular and the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan. Well, it was built in the year 645. If that's not old I don't know what is. 645 holyma! Survived through the war and all, not too bad at all. Even the Nakamise shopping street's been here for centuries, no joke. There's also a beautiful garden at the Dempoin Temple next to Sensoji Temple, however it's no longer open to the public. That's real unfortunate because I've seen the pictures online and it really is very beautiful. Oh well. 

Fortune telling and the five-storeys pagoda

The uhm back side. 

Got a quick shot of Tokyo Sky Tree nearby! 

But not near enough to pay a visit unfortunately. See, one week in Tokyo is simply not enough to see everything. After a quick exploration we had to rush off to Mitaka just outside Tokyo for an exciting attraction that I am so happy to be able to cross off my bucket list. It was a dream come true and so much more. Wait for it! 

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