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Showing posts with the label Asakusa

Getting Around in Asia

Cinderella went to the ball in a pumpkin coach. Laurence of Arabia rode across the desert in a camel. Mushers and their teams race from Anchorage to Nome with sled dogs. Getting there is surely more than half the fun?
In Siem Reap you have the option to ride an elephant around the Angkor complex for what could be an elevated experience. I also love the orange throw over the back of the elephant for that royal touch!

The procession of tuk tuks above bodes well for independent travelers to Cambodia who wish to move about without the restraining expense of a chauffeur driven limo.


The jeepney was fabricated from used jeeps left by the Americans in the Philippines at the end of World War II.  The most colorful and extravagantly decorated jeepneys ply the roads in Metro Manila. What I like about riding the jeepney is the flexibility of getting off where I please by just asking the driver, "mama, para po dito" (Mister, please stop here).


The tricycle is what I call the transport of…

Sunday at Sensoji Temple

The Grand Kaminarimon Gate
Learning to navigate around Tokyo using the subway system was a liberating experience. I could explore with no qualms of getting lost in this mega city. The possibilities were endless. Except for the fact that I would get tired sooner rather than later because I was trying to do too much in one day. In the morning I strolled up and down Omotesando, shopping for gifts at Oriental Bazaar and checking out the Hiroshige exhibition at the Ota Memorial Museum of Art. Refreshed and rested after a big lunch, I took the subway across town to Asakusa to see Sensoji Temple once more.
Nakamise Street
Sensoji Temple is the oldest temple in Tokyo, dating back to 628.  The Grand Kaminarimon Gate leads visitors to temple grounds. This is a favorite spot for meeting friends or photo ops with the massive red lantern in the background. Nakamise Street extends 250 meters from the gate to the temple. It is lined on each side with tempting stores but on this Sunday, it was impossib…

Souvenir Shopping in Asakusa

It's fun shopping in Asakusa though the prices may not necessarily be cheaper than in the Omotesando district. There are hundreds of stalls on side streets and on the main alley leading to Sensoji Temple. But it's hard to get close to some stalls  (like the cookie shops) on Sundays when it seems a third of Tokyoites are congregating in the area.


No wonder the cookie stalls are mobbed. Check out these goodies which are wrapped so attractively. Who wouldn't be thrilled to receive a box of these freshly baked treats?


The cute knick knacks above are cell phone accessories or possibly something you can put into your key ring or hang from the handle of your handbag. I like the miniature wooden Japanese dolls best though I didn't buy any.


These cloth made dolls are beautiful to behold. Note the price for each doll - from 2,000 yen to 5,250 yen or US$24 to $64.00 at $1 to 82 yen. Behind the dolls are paddles with two feather shuttlecocks.


There are also many kimono and fabri…

Hungry in Tokyo?

The art of plastic food display reaches its zenith in Japan. No other country in the world has such a wide array of the most delectable plastic dishes (and not limited to Japanese food only).


Surrounded by Japanese restaurants, this window display announces an Italian pizzeria in Asakusa. Italian food has an affinity to Japanese or Asian cuisine as noodles = pasta. What differentiates them is the sauce.
 At this noodle restaurant close to my hotel in Hanzomon, you need to get an order ticket from a machine with instructions in Japanese. So I took the menu and compared the Kanji characters of the combination dish I wanted for dinner with that of the machine but nothing matched. I narrowed down my choices by the price indicated on the menu but still couldn't find a match. So finally I gave up and stood by the counter until the chef was free to help me. He was very accommodating as he had seen me figure things out for a few minutes but as he had a steady stream of customers, couldn…