One of the places we told ourselves we have to visit in Tokyo was Asakusa. It was a place that got me interested because websites described it as a place where you can experience the ancient Japan and walk on the old streets. Plus, there were friends who recommended that we visit the place as well.
Getting to Asakusa is easy. Just take the Chuo Line to Kanda Station (10 minutes, 160 Yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 160 Yen).
Saw this rickshaw man running steadily on the road. Asakusa can be easily explored on foot, but if you are feeling rich, you can pay these rickshaw men (can be found everywhere) to bring you on a guided tour. A 30-minute tour costs about 8000yen for two persons (S$123).
As we walked, we saw the Tokyo Tower in the distance! It didn't look as impressive as I had imagined it to be though. I had thought it would be a lot bigger.
After a short walk from the subway station, we saw the famous landmark of Asakusa from across the junction - This was the iconic Kaminarimon（雷门）, which was one of the two large entrance gates leading to Sensoji, a famous Buddhist temple built in the 7th century. The Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries, leads from Kaminarimon to Sensoji.
So many people were gathered in front of the gate, trying to catch a good photo of it. It was the first place in Tokyo that I felt like a tourist visiting a popular tourist attraction. Ironically, I didn't quite like the feeling. I preferred touring a country and experience it as a local would. Asakusa may have its ancient charm, but I was a little put off by how blatantly targeted at tourists it was.
Nevertheless, the place was really quite lovely. The intricate designs of the architecture were fascinating. The Japanese really have a way with design and landscaping.
The big red lantern that hung at the doorway.
This was what the streets looked like - Deep red buildings on both sides, selling all kinds of interesting Japanese cultural products.
Liked how ancient the shops looked side by side. It would be picture perfect if everyone wore traditional kimonos on the streets!
And we did bump into some of them ladies! They looked so elegant that we had to stop them for photographs, which they kindly obliged. :)
Lots of souvenirs sold here...
Bought some candies home for the kids. So colourful and pretty they were!
And I was delighted there were many shops selling little snacks too! I had to try some of them!
Many shops were selling this kind of pancakes with red bean paste, and I paid 100yen for two (S$1.60). They were still warm when I ate them!
Freshly baked and very yummy! :)
I also tried these crispy biscuits dipped in soya sauce. Tasted very similar to the 旺旺米果.
Passed by some restaurants with interesting facades. Don't you just love them Japanese statues on the rooftops? =D
Met this cute little Japanese boy in traditional men kimono, and couldn't help but snapped a photo of him!
At the end of one of the streets, I saw the Tokyo Tower again. :)
The rickshaw men were all very good-looking, muscular and super friendly men. =P I suppose that would entice more tourists to pay for their services?
Saw this drinking place and was reminded of so many familiar scenes in Japanese drama serials.
Hubby tried the mochi balls.. Tasted... bleh.
These rows of white lanterns were so pretty against the blue skies.
Reached Sensoji Temple!
You can pay 200yen for a chance to draw a lot for your fortune.
Many Japanese were trying to wave the smoke coming up from this joss-burning pot to their own bodies, believing in the blessings on their lives. I, on the other hand, was trying hard to shun the smoke. =P
Lots and lots of devotees at the temple.
Met another lady in kimono!
After a long walk at Asakusa, we decided to have our lunch finally!
Simple but very yummy ramen and gyoza. :)
Before leaving Asakusa, we took a stroll to the nearby Sumida Park, where we saw the Tokyo Tower in its entirety. Iconic indeed. =)