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A day in Asakusa

Back to Japan - told you we would

overcast 7 °C

As usual, we are still throwing stuff into suitcases when Mum arrives to take us out to the airport. Even still making lunch when the last bag is zipped up. No doubt I will remember what I have forgotten on the way.
We head off as L is getting a bit toey about her flight, but when we reach tulla it is quite deserted.
She is in, we are not far behind. L has no time to wait, straight on. Next it is time for G and I to head off to our SQ flight. The crew is lovely, but the Jumbo is showing its age, hopefully they will soon be overhauling it. Row 52 is right next to the galley – try to avoid that in the future. Had some good vistas over central Australia, but G complains as opening the blinds interrupts his viewing pleasure!
A number of empty hours in Changi as we wait for departure. This leg is in a nice shiny new Boeing 777 with the new entertainment system. Despite G’s enthusiasm, he has to try getting some sleep tonight or tomorrow will be a washout. In the morning as breakfast comes out, he does not look like he has slept much, and falls back asleep.
At Narita we head out and meet up with L and get ourselves organised – cash out of an ATM (28degrees card, no exchange ripoff or O/S ATM fee), hired mobile phones and got down to the train.
Last time we went on the N’Ex – Narita to Tokyo express, and thought it was good. But JR east suggest the Kesei line is better to get to Asakusa. So we head over there and once I have bought the tickets, we are off. Except I have bought the wrong ticket so we are doing the standard local train instead of the Sky Express. Thought it sounded cheap. As a guide:
Kesei Line train, Yen 1060, 75 minutes, limited express
N’Ex Yen 3000, 50 minutes, very comfortable though
Kesei Sky train Yen 2000, 45 minutes
G is immune to the landscape during the 70km ride as he sleeps on L’s shoulder most of the way – should have taken a photo. The trip is made more interesting as we cannot work out which train to change to at Aoto. One of the locals kindly points out my error and we are on our way. We can only drop our gear off at the hotel – room will be ready at 3pm. This is good, as it stops us crashing out there and then.
Essential Japanese cuisine?

Essential Japanese cuisine?


So we have a cruise around Asakusa – which starts as it always must, at mister donut. After a coffee that helped L appreciate instant, we are on our way, going through the Kaminarimon (Thunder gate) and battling our way through the street of stalls behind. Many of these sell Kaminarimon

Kaminarimon

touristy trinkets, but there are some making and selling rice crackers, biscuits and sweet pastries by hand in front of you. Free of this we are in front of Senso-ji, the large Buddhist temple. Senso-ji is approached through an outer gate which is imposing in itself, but passing through the main temple is revealed. In the foreground there is an area for making prayers and getting fortunes foretold by the random selection of a numbered chopstick from a container. L gets hers, but it is not good – her prayers will not be answered and she is out of luck for now. But bad predictions are not contagious as G tries his luck next he picks the opposite fortune – all good, every thing you touch will be gold. I don’t chance my arm and just get some incense to burn for good health instead. We have a look around, and she spies another fortune telling place and decides to try for a better prediction. When it comes out, it is the exact same fortune as the previous one – which freaks L out a bit.
Good Fortune!!

Good Fortune!!


Enough bad news for now, we head out into the beautiful gardens around the temple for a look and to try and get a bit of heat from the sun as well. It is (unsurprisingly) cold and crisp, but this does not stop the local girlies from wearing short shorts or miniskirts – not all with stockings either – they must be tough here!
Senso-Ji gardens

Senso-Ji gardens


We cruise around the neighbourhood – which away from the temple environs is what this is – a neighbourhood. There are some great little shops selling stuff like old style knives and scissors, another selling a myriad of brushes – most made of hogs or horse hair, kimono materials (we make to size).
But it is around 3 and we have to have some food, L locates a cheap and cheerful ramen place with a minimal menu, but we have great ramen and gyoza – just what we needed at the time, not least as it is hot and warms us up from the inside.
By now, the room is available to us and we head back to the Blue Wave. We get our bags and head upto out room – it is in a great place, with views over the Senso – ji, looks great. The room is not huge as a triple but would be great as a double or twin. Everything we need is here, except G has to huff down to the lobby to get Wi Fi. L meanwhile decides to lie down and rest her eyes. G, back from downstairs decides the same, and soon the room reverberates to the symphony of sleep.

Posted by lostagain 18:05 Archived in Japan

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