Friday, May 7, 2010

Trip Day 7: Tsukiji Market, Roppongi, Asakusa & Ikebukuro (March 26th) -part 2-

Well, here I am with the second part of yesterday's post! It's all about Asakusa, a place full of temples and tourists!

Public transport is very expensive in Tokyo, especially if you want to visit lots of places connected by different train lines or metro; so instead of paying overpriced tickets but arriving at the exact station we wanted, we paid less a walk a little so we got to see a little of the area instead of taking the train for everything..

So on our way to Asakusa, we walked by the Sumida-gawa (or River Sumida) where we saw quite a few homeless people.
We walked for a while, and as we were approaching Asakusa district, the Asahi Beer Building (AKA The Poop Building) was getting bigger and bigger.
We all love the golden poop, don't we? xDDD

Sumida-gawa 01

Sumida-gawa 02

Asahi Beer Building (AKA The Poop Building)

Once there, the sun started making its way through the clouds, which we thanked A LOT!
And I don't know how to explain this.., but I think this place has some kind of magic, good vibrations all over the place, everyone looked happy and were so nice despite all the people cluttering the streets and the shops.

Here are some photos of the shops and Nakamise-dori (or Nakamise street).

A cook making noodles..

Noodle Making 01

Noodle Making 02



Geta shop.., take look a the man, after talking to the other guy, he left running down the street..

Geta Shop 02 Geta Shop 01

This was a sweets shop, and they were also selling 'ningyo-yaki' (you can see the machine in the photo), and even if I'm not too fond of Anko, they were delicious!!

Ningyo-yaki Making


A masks shop.., we wanted to buy one, but they were so fragile that we were afraid it would break in the suitcase.. We wanted the crow one,sadly it's not pictured here.. ;_;

Noh Masks

Finally we made it to the Kaminarimon (or Thunder Gate), the first gate that leads to Senso-ji Shrine.
In this photo you can see the south face of the giant 'chochin' (or lantern) that hangs under the gate and reads 'Kaminarimon' and the upper tablet reads 'Kinryū-zan' (or Golden Dragon Mountain) and references the Senso-ji.

Kaminarimon South Face

There are four statues under the gate, two on the south face and other two on the north face.
On the south face there are the Shinto gods Fūjin, the god of wind, located on the east side of the gate, and Raijin, the god of thunder and lightning, located on the west side.

I don't know why I only got a photo of Fujin, if Raijin is cooler looking.. ¬.¬

Kaminarimon South Face: Fūjin

And here you can see 'Kaminarimon' North face, with the lantern and the other two statues.

Kaminarimon North Face (Furaijinmon)

If you pay attention, the writing on the lantern is different than on the south face, that's why on the north face it says 'Furaijinmon', which is the official name of the gate.

Kaminarimon North Face (Furaijinmon)

On this side of the gate, the statues are of the Buddhist god Tenryū on the east, and the goddess Kinryū on the west side.

Kaminarimon North Face (Furaijinmon): Tenryū Kaminarimon North Face (Furaijinmon): Kinryū

And here a photo of the giant lantern's bottom, where a dragon is carved in wood.
All the people that passed under it touched it, so I wanted to do the same, only I have to jump to reach it! xDDD

Kaminarimon Lantern's Bottom

We finally reached the 'Hōzōmon' (or Treasure-House Gate), the second gate that leads to the Senso-ji.
In this gate there are three lanterns and two similar statues located on the south face.

Hōzōmon South Face

These statues represent 'Niō', the guardian deity of the Buddha. Because of these statues, the gate was originally called the 'Niōmon' (or Niō Gate) before it was renamed the 'Hōzōmon'.

Hōzōmon South Face: Niō Hōzōmon South Face: Niō

And here is one of the two copper 'Tōrō' (or lantern), it's so beautiful!!!

Hōzōmon Copper Tōrō

On the north face of the gate there are the 'O-Waraji' (or straw sandals).

O-Waraji O-Waraji

On one side of this gate there is the 'Goju no To' (or Five-Storied Pagoda) founded in 942, later rebuilt in 1648; and reconstructed in 1973 due to the fire that burnt it in 1945 during WWII.
A beautiful Pagoda, if you ask me.. ♥

Goju no To (Five-Storied Pagoda)

Goju no To (Five-Storied Pagoda) Goju no To (Five-Storied Pagoda)

Here is Luc leaving his Omikuji at the shrine..
And if you pay attention, you can see a white wall at the back.., well, guess what, this shrine was also being remodelled!! WTF?! U.U


Luc in the 'O-koro', which is not a big ashtray.. xDD
It's a big thurible that's said its smoke healing illnesses and giving strength to the weak.


Here's the 'Senso-ji', and the only photo you'll see since I couldn't take a photo of the outside because of what I stated before, and the inside was too dark and all the photos came out blurry.. U.U
But this shrine is the oldest shrine in Tokyo, being built in 645.

Sensō-ji Shrine

Behind the shrine there is this beautiful ground with trees, plants and water running under the bridges..

Sensō-ji Grounds

This is me portraying Raijin.. xDDDD

Raijin (me) and Fūjin

And one of my happiest moments was when we found this Taiyaki shop!!
Ahhh, so many taiyaki in different flavours.
What makes me mad is the fact that I bought this taiyaki pan almost 2 years ago and my husband isn't capable of buying the correct plug to be able to use it! >.< Taiyaki Making 01

Taiyaki Making 02

Taiyaki Display Taiyaki

I went for the 'soft custard kurimu' one, 'chokoreeto' for Luc and 'sakura' for my husband.
So yummy!!!!! ♥♥

Taiyaki Eating 01 Taiyaki Eating 02

After eating the taiyaki, we left Asakusa and headed out ways to Ikebukuro, but in our way, we passed by Bandai building and these cuties were on the outside.. :DD

Bandai Building: Doraemon

Bandai Building: Cinnamoroll Bandai Building: Mametchi (Tamagotchi)

Bandai Building: Ultraman Bandai Building: Gundam

When we arrived at Ikebukuro, we went to 'Sunshine City' a BIIIIIG mall with aquarium, observatory, zoo and many more things.
Sadly we didn't visit any of this, we just bought a few things (not without a further fight) and went back to 'Baba'.
Here's a fountain inside the mall..

Sunshine City

And here is the Amlux building (or Toyota building), so beautiful at night!!!

Amlux (Toyota Building)

Well, I hope you liked it, and didn't get tired of all the explanations about Asakusa.. xDDD


  1. Hi Natalia,

    Thank you for your guide for Asakusa & the Sensoji Temple.
    I know this post was from 2010, but I just found it through my research for my upcoming Japan trip.

    Asakusa seems to have a lot of street foods! The taiyaki looks so delicious :)

    1. I'm so glad you found it useful! When I was there I actually didn't know where to go, and I know the backstreets are FULL of food and lovely people, I hope you get to see all of it. I think it was my favourite lace in Tokyo!!


Everytime you comment, you make me happy and I smile.
Thank you SO much!

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Muchisimas gracias!

Natalia L.
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