Sunday, May 18, 2014

Walk with ChaMike in Japan | Asakusa

Asakusa's Sensoji Temple

When we got to Tokyo, one of our agendas was to meet my high school friend, Lalaine (we call each other Twin) who is based in Tokyo. ChaMike spent the whole day with Twin walking along the famous districts in Tokyo and our first stop was Asakusa.

Asakusa is a district in Tokyo that has an old Japan atmosphere. It is famous for the Buddhist temple called Sensoji Temple. Asakusa also offers rickshaw guided tour for Y8,000 (P3,450) for 2 persons in 30 minutes. Options for a longer and shorter tours are also available.

Rickshaw Ride

Sensoji Temple is a Buddhist temple built in the 7th century. Tourists visit this place to worship, shop, eat or just look at the temple and watch worshipers pray. While going to the Sensoji Temple we were greeted by several attractions along the way.

Kaminarimon is the outer large gate before going to the Sensoji Temple. It is famous for its enormous red latern. After Kaminarimon you will see a strip of shopping area called Nakamise Shopping Street.
Kaminarimon Gate

Nakamise Shopping Street is a strip of shops that sells different items like local specialties, local snacks & souvenirs.

Nakamise Shopping Street

This is a perfect place for those people who are looking for Japanese themed items such as Yukata, Kimono, Japanese Umbrellas, Japanese Folding Fans, Japanese Slippers, Japanese Lanterns and all sorts of Japanese trinkets. 

different Japanese items you can buy

It is also an ideal venue to buy unique Japanese snacks that you can take home and give as pasalubong.

Japanese snacks

We didn't buy any pasalubong but Twin treated us to a light snack that is famous in Japan called Senbei or rice crackers.


You can choose from plain Y50 (P22), with soy sauce Y 70 (P30) or with nori Y100 (P44).

Twin with her Senbei in soy sauce

Twin also insisted on trying the Japanese ice cream. Mike and I wanted to try it in Kyoto but couldn't believe how expensive it was, it costs Y350 (P150) which is quite pricey compared to the ice creams in the Philippines plus it was so cold in Kyoto we couldn't bear eating something as equally cold. But it was the perfect time to try in Asakusa because the weather was fair and Twin insisted on paying for it- hehehe.

When we tasted it, we understood why it was expensive. The Japanese ice cream was so creamy and yummy! I can still remember its taste up until this writing (its a must try!)

After the heavenly Japanese ice cream experience we proceeded on walking towards the temple and we were again greeted by another gate called Hozomon Gate.

Hozomon Gate

ChaMike and Twin

After passing through the gate, we then saw the Sensoji Temple. Sensoji Temple is the most popular Buddhist temple in Tokyo, it also is the oldest although the current structure has been renovated because its original structure was ruined during World War II.

Sensoji Temple

The temple also has a 5-storey Pagoda located on the side.


We also saw these group of white lanterns of different writings. Twin said that each lantern was donated by Japanese businessman which is believed to bring good luck to their business. Same tradition as what the locals do in Fushimi Inari Shrine.

Lanterns donated by Japanese businessmen

The Sensoji Temple also has an incense altar which is believed to give good health when wafting the incense fumes to the body.

Incense Altar
Locals wafting incense fumes

We also saw a kiosk filled with mini wooden drawers and a metal containing sticks. We were lucky Twin was with us to explain all our questions. It's a fortune kiosk where it can tell your fortune by following these easy steps...

Fortune teller kiosk

  1. Pay Y100 (P44).
  2. Shake the metal container.
  3. Get one stick from the hole of the metal container.
  4. Each stick has a number in Japanese character written on it, from the number of your chosen stick look for the similar number from the layers of mini drawers.
  5. Get a piece of paper from the drawer and read your fortune.

Steps on how to get your fortune

And guess what? My paper said BAD FORTUNE!!! Oh well, I am not really the type of person who believes in these things so it wasn't a big deal for me. But then again, I got a little paranoid as the fortune paper was kinda mean and scary especially on the part 'It is bad to make a trip' because I was on a TRIP?!- waaaaah!!!

Bad Fortune?!

But calm down, Cham, Twin said that the bad fortune can be changed or altered into a good one by folding the paper and knotting it on a metal rod near the kiosk. That was a relief!

Tying the fortune paper

From the area you can see another tourist spot, the Tokyo Skytree, a broadcasting, restaurant and an observation deck. We didn't get to go up but I would really love to do it if ever I will be given the opportunity soon.

Tokyo Skytree
Asakusa is a nice place to visit especially if you are looking for Japanese souvenirs and if you want to learn more on how the Japanese worship.

Opening: Main Hall 6:00 am- 5:00 pm
                Temple Grounds always open
                No Closing days
Fee:         Free
How to get here:  
From Tokyo Station
Take the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station (2 minutes, Y 140) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, Y 170).

From Shinjuku Station
Take the orange JR Chuo Line to Kanda Station (10 minutes, Y 170 ) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, Y170).

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