#MagandangHapon Day 2: Asakusa


Our second day in Japan started bright and early. We had a buffet breakfast at the hotel. I was a bit surprised to see that they served french fries and pasta(!!!) (and here I thought I wouldn't get to eat Italian for 9 days!) in the morning, but other than that, everything was standard fare. Our agenda for the day was to visit Asakusa, one of Tokyo's top tourist spots, and have our orientation in the afternoon. I'll be splitting my second day into two posts, cause that night we got to see the other, more modern side of Tokyo. Such a play in contrast, right?

there was construction undergoing but it still looks clean...

Asakusa is set in the middle of Tokyo, where you get to see an older, more traditional side of Japan. Its main attraction is the Sensoji Temple, one of Tokyo's most famous temples, which according to this site, was built in the 7th century. The site also mentions Asakusa happening to be Japan's largest entertainment/red light district for centuries during the Edo period.

Surrounding the area is the Nakamise, or shopping street, where a lot of shops are lined up. I didn't buy anything except ice cream though, cause being a tourist spot, the things they sold were a tad expensive. I did enjoy looking around with Mia though! They had a lot of traditional items, like kimonos, fans and chopsticks, but they also had wigs, headdresses and samurai swords. Of course, they also had food--probably the closest thing to street food I could get to, I realize now--but Mia and I were too busy trying to cover as much ground as we could, and take outfit shots as well! Haha

wanted to have my palm read but I realized they'd be telling the reading in Japanese...

I didn't know up until the day before homestay that you're supposed to give postcards OR business cards to people you'd meet. Good thing my homestay sister had a Philippine postcard :P

Also surrounding the area was the Asakusa Shrine, Dempoin Temple (no photos allowed though!) and the Kaminarimon, a large entrance gate leading to the temple grounds. So I'm not really the best tour guide, but if you're interested, the site mentions a 30 minute tour for two on a rickshaw--yes, it's that carriage-like thing pulled by a man--for 8000 yen.

We met some friendly Japanese kids around the area too! Mia and I found them trying to practice their English by calling out to foreigners, "Do you like Japan?" so we talked to them. The girls were really friendly and the boys were shy, leaving the area and teasing the girls when we told them we wanted photos with them. I also got to see some Australian JENESYS participants around! Apparently, there were a number of batches around the same time we were there: baseball, Mindanao, disaster prevention (all 3 groups being Philippine delegates) and the Australian group!

I thought this was the Kaminarimon, but according to the website, it's the Hozo gate, which leads us to the nakamise (shopping district)

Other notable places we passed near the area are the Tokyo Skytree, a 634-meter tower which is Japan's tallest building, and the Asahi Beer Tower, which was definitely attention-grabbing, what with a golden pointed glob-like sculpture above the building. I don't have photos of both though since we were in a moving bus. :(

The hour we were given was definitely not enough! All of us had lunch together afterwards at Chimney and while we were being served, we thought that one table (with 6 people) would only be sharing like, 3 plates of the chicken but we got ONE EACH!! Can you see the size of that thing? At least no one will accuse the Japanese of starving us! Haha. By the way, every time we had fried meat, there was always cabbage to go with it, probably to "absorb the oil". I learned to enjoy it as well. :)

top and dress: Forever 21 || boots: F&F

Hope you enjoyed this entry! Evening festivities and adventures up next!


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