Exploring Japan

Reminiscing: The Busy Streets of Asakusa

When I first came here in Japan, one of the fascinating places that I really like is Asakusa, located in the north-east part of central Tokyo. accessible via Ginza and Asakusa lines. The town is known as the center of Old Tokyo because of several temples in the area and old shops that sells traditional goods like kimono, chinas, special papers, chopsticks, etc. Asakusa is one of the most crowded places in Tokyo anytime of the year because of the influx of local and foreign tourists visiting the area and buying Japanese souvenirs to bring back home.  I particularly like the Senso-ji Temple and the Nakamise or souvenir street in front of it.

The inner gate of Senso-ji Temple
The Big Buddha straw sandal believed to guard the temple from bad spirits
Main entrance of Senso-ji Temple
Main altar inside Senso-ji Temple
Nakamise or souvenir street going to Senso-ji Temple
Tourists going around Asakusa via rickshaw
Traditional Japanese slippers
High quality chopsticks for sale

Just recently, I made several trips to Asakusa especially when friends from Manila came to visit. But the most interesting trips for me were when I was with my Ikebana sensei and my English student who if from the area. The trip with my sensei was like going back to the olden times because she showed me places where her parents dated; the first tempura restaurant; the original rice cracker store; and the rituals that Japanese do when they visit Senso-ji temple.

Japanese garden inside Denpoin Temple
Denki Bran, authentic Japanese brandy from Asakusa
Lighting the incense sticks before entering Senso-ji Temple
Famous hands Asakusa version
My friends trying to know their fortune in Senso-ji Temple

And because one of my adult English student lives in Asakusa, she was kind enough to tour me around from time to time to nearby places that I have not been yet. Last spring we walked along Sumida Park to admire the sakuras. And then today we walked along Kappabashi, just a few meters away from Senso-ji Temple, a street filled with stores selling kitchen tools, utensils, and fabricated food.

Sakuras in Sumida Park
View of Tokyo Skytree (left) and Asahi Building (right) from Sumida River Park
Fabricated sushi in Kappabashi
A huge steel kettle welcomes the customers of Kitchen Museum in Kappabashi
Antique Japanese teapots can also be found in Kappabashi
Customized knifes with personal engravings

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