Japan Adventures – Asakusa and Akihabara

ASAKUSA

Asakusa is one of Tokyo’s districts where an atmosphere of old Tokyo survives. It’s main attraction is Sensoji Temple, a Buddhist temple built in the 17th century.

The legend says that in the year 628, two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, out of the Sumida River, and even though they put the statue back into the river, it always returned to them. Consequently, Sensoji was built nearby for the goddess of Kannon. The temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo’s oldest temple. SOURCE

You can approach the temple through Nakamise Shopping Street where you can buy a vast selection of souvenirs. You can also have a mini food trip with the lot of stores selling Japanese snacks and delicacies but remember you must either eat on the spot or take it home as eating while walking is regarded as bad manners in Japan.

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Sensoji = “Senso” Asakusa + “Ji” Temple

The trademark of this temple would probably be the huge red lantern that welcomes you to the temple. I guess this is one of the most visited place in Tokyo. We came during a weekday and the place was packed with tourists and locals as well.

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Also found here is the five-storied Pagoda which is about the height of an 18-story building. It houses the Buddha’s ashes on the top floor

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Inside the temple grounds, you can find a big incense burner where you will see people fanning or bathing themselves in smoke. It is believed that the incense has healing powers. Fan the smoke over the part of your body with ailment to help heal it. I’ve read somewhere that some people rub the smoke in their heads to make themselves smarter. LOL

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Inside the main hall..

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AKIHABARA

Akihabara is famous for the many electronic shops, manga and anime stores. It is indeed Tokyo’s “electric city”.

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I think I saw hundreds of gachapons dispersed in the area. These are vending machines that yield capsule toys, mostly anime characters for  200-400 Yen. I don’t remember how many coins we wasted for this. LOL

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There’s a Gundam-themed cafe in the area. We didn’t eat inside as I thought the food were overpriced. I’m also not a fan of Gundam. Maybe if it’s Hello Kitty or One Piece I would’ve gone in. Ha ha!

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I was planning to buy Pablo cheesecake in Shibuya and I got super excited when I saw they have a store in Akihabara. They only sell the cheese tarts  here though. I heard the lines could be very long but luckily I didn’t need to wait too long. OMG these are so yummy! I loved the chocolate cheese tarts the most. Drool!

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To be continued…

 

 

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