Our plan for Day 5 was to visit Asakusa – Sensouji Temple, Tokyo SkyTree and Akihabara. To cover three places in one day was proven to be a challenge for us.
We started our day early and ate some bread for our breakfast bought from 7-11; it quickly became our favourite place for breakfast and snacks. We couldn’t help but admitted that food quality at convenience stores here in Japan is much better than we have back in Toronto. Once we ate our breakfast, we left the hotel 7:30am to go to Asakusa.
We went to Ikebukuro station and took Yamanote line towards Ueno which was about ~15 minutes then from Ueno station, we switched to Ginza line and rode towards Asakusa for another ~10 minutes.
In case, you were wondering how we were able to get around Tokyo’s complicated train/subway system easily, the answer is we didn’t. Every trip required 10-15 minutes to find the correct exit/entrance and the power of sumimasen i.e. we asked random strangers/station staff for directions or went to the information centre at each station. We were so grateful for the kindness of strangers we encountered who helped and spent minutes with us.
From Asakusa station, it’s about 5 minutes walk and we were able to find direction to Sensōji temple easily. We just followed the traffic :). By the time we got there, there were already a lot of people so if you’re hoping to take some great pictures, you may want to come earlier so that it’s less crowded and/or don’t go during Golden Week holidays 🙂
We entered the temple through Kaminarinon Gate (Thunder Gate) which was the symbol of Asakusa temple. After the gate, there’s a long shopping street that leads to the temple and on left and right, we found many shops selling merchandise for gifts and various local snacks.
We stopped at a local shop selling ice green tea and dango (I think). Ice green tea cost around ¥100 per glass and the dango was for ¥330 for 5 sticks. They both were really delicious and they’re not overly sweet which we preferred.
After filling ourselves with some delicious snacks, we arrived at the second gate and took some pictures of surrounding areas. Then, we walked further and arrived at the entrance of the temple. We didn’t go inside and took some pictures from outside.
Asakusa is located close to Tokyo SkyTree so we were able to see the top of SkyTree from Sensoji Temple. This was the reason why we wanted to visit both of them on the same day since they were so close to each other.
After we finished taking pictures, we went to our next quest to find this legendary melon pan shop which’s apparently very well-known for its deliciousness based on this post at Tokyo Cheapo. The store’s name is Kagetsudo. Their melon-pan is so fluffy but at the same time, it’s also so crispy on the outside. It’s night and day in comparison with the one we bought at convenience stores. It’s more expensive at ¥200 each or ¥500 for 3 but it’s well worth it.
Just outside of Sensoji main temple, there were local food stalls selling various snacks from okonomiyaki, takoyaki, meat on a stick and much more. We were so tempted to try all of them. We bought this pork meat on a stick and some sort of pancake. Not sure what this was called. They both tasted so-so, though.
From Sensoji temple, we went back to Asakusa station and took Tobu SkyTree Line towards Minami-Kurihashi to Tokyo SkyTree station. The station was just one stop after Asakusa station.
As soon as we exited the station, we were greeted with this welcome message of SkyTree train which my son took some pictures with.
On our way to Tokyo SkyTree, there were various shops along the way which turned out to be quite a distraction, in particular, this shop selling Sanrio related items. My son just ran and went inside without caring. He’s just too excited to see all these Hello Kitty items. There were so many Hello Kitty or Sanrio stuff that we’ve never seen before and they all looked so cute especially this Hello Kitty one wearing a kimono.
Right beside the Hello Kitty shop, there’s a candy shop and they’re showing the process of making a candy which attracted a lot of people to see. It’s quite amazing on how they made the candy from start to finish.
Now that we’re done with those shops, it’s time to get back to our main destination which is the Tokyo SkyTree. I was advised by fellow blogger, Q from DayBreak’s Bell, as per below in his comment on my Day 3 post. Thanks for the tips :).
Do take note that Skytree has long queues, but my sister told me you can pay a few more hundred yens per head for a fast track; you need to show your passport so I think it’s for foreigners only.
We decided not to go up to the Tokyo SkyTree due to the long queue and we were happy enough to take some pictures surrounding areas.
It’s around 12noon by the time we finished taking pictures around Tokyo SkyTree and we went for lunch at a food court nearby. Wife and I got chicken karage and a bowl of ramen which we shared. When in doubt what to eat, go for ramen and/or chicken karage :). After lunch, we took a quick break before leaving for our next destination which was Akihabara.
From Tokyo Sky Tree, we went to Oshiage Station and took the Asakusa line towards Haneda Airport then we got out at Asakusabashi station then we switched to Chuo-Sobu Line towards Nakano and got out at Akihabara station. As soon we exited the station, we were greeted with more Gashapon which we had to stop by because my son wanted to play. He loved turning it around and got something out of it. He thought it was free despite the fact it was ¥200 to ¥300 each.
After we exited Akihabara station, we saw this store called Pablo for selling some cheesecakes. My wife’s sister highly recommended the cheesecake when we told her about our trip to Japan. It’s more like egg/Portuguese egg tarts than a cheesecake, to be honest. We bought chocolate and green tea flavour. Wife mentioned that the chocolate one was too sweet for her liking.
Across Pablo cheesecake, there’s a Radio Kaikan building which sells various merchandise such as cards, dolls, figures, military related items, etc. There are 10 floors in total and few floors were occupied by K-Books store. We spent most our time on 2nd and 4th floor and we were looking mostly for Love Live related merchandise. The amount of items they sell were just mind blowing. Any anime series that I could think of were there.
We also saw this small booth inside Radio Kaikan building selling deserts related to GranBlue Fantasy mobile game (if I’m not mistaken, correct me if I’m wrong). The staff were nice enough to let us take some pictures when my wife asked him if it’s ok.
We took few more pictures in Akihabara but we had to call it a day soon because between jet lag and few days of sightseeing, it started to take its toll on our legs. With that said, we went back to our hotel to get some well-deserved rest before dinner.
We strolled around Ikebukuro neighbourhood to find a place to eat and we ended up at food court at 8th floor in Lumine building. Not sure which restaurant to go to, we just picked this one that looked a chinese restaurant. I got mapo tofu with rice + soup + dessert for my dinner for ¥1,200.
On our way back to the hotel, I saw this movie poster.
Does anyone know what the title of this movie? It’s Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita. Thanks to Longhim.
That’s the summary of our Day 5. If you haven’t checked our previous adventures you can do so by clicking on these links:Day 1, Day 2 – Daiba, Day 3 – Ghibli Museum, Day 4 – Tokyo Disneyland, Day 6 – Shibuya, Day 7 – Ginza and Ikebukuro and Day 8 – Final Day.