Japan Day 2: Asakusa – Sensoji Temple : Ueno Station : Tokyo Station: Akihabara : Ichiran Ramen

The 2nd day started off slow and relaxed.

Rebecca saw - Sakura hostel asakusa tokyo japan

Well, not exactly relaxed as I was editing pictures, blogging and jotting down my experiences as each day passed by. My hostel is wonderful; ample room space, large common lounge, clean big shared washrooms and so comfortable to just sit in the common area and talk to the people and get some online work done.

I had a simple breakfast of bread and even took a nap at 1pm. I set out to explore a bit at the Sensoji Temple area which is like 2 streets away from my hostel. I have seen it before yesterday with Thomas but didn’t take a picture of myself at the lantern so today I did! 🙂

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The problem with traveling alone – shaky pictures taken by random strangers. Ah well.
Here’s some pictures taken of the street market at Asakusa where the Sensoji Temple is. There are tons of food and souvenir shops!

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It gets dark pretty fast here in Japan. This was taken at 4.00pm.

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In an hour or so, by 5.00pm it’s pretty dark already!

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It was a merry Sat evening and the locals can be seens seating at the side of the roads, outside the shops having dinner and a pint or two. Everyone was cheerful and laughing away.

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This “lady” proudly proclaimed that she’s gay and striked a pose for my camera!

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All the food shops were very tempting, but not easy on the wallet. A snack (a piece of cracker) cost about 100 – 150 Yen – RM4- RM6.

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This reminded me of our local “mua chee” – the glutinous rice cakes coated in peanuts.

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The streets of Asakusa is a labyrinth of  alleys of shops and more shops!
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Look at these cute animals made from bristles!
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Next was a quick meal with a friend I met at my hostel; Bruce. We walked around and randomly picked a shop. In the end we chose this one because the menu has pictures of hamburgs and we are both meat lovers!

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Cafe/Restaurant Gusto serves a hybrid of Westernized and Japanese food.

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This 790 Yen (RM32) set comes with free soup refills, a bowl of rice and this delicious thick hamburg with vegetables.

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Food was good! The hamburg was juicy and flavourful. Perfect for both of us.

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Then I headed to Ueno station to meet another friend. Wow! I sound like I’m so well connected in Tokyo right? 🙂

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Well, thanks to Liew in KL who introduced me to Chong – he’s a Malaysian living in Japan for 25 years. I can’t get a better tour guide than him!

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Our meeting point was Ueno Station and I took the Ginza Line from Asakusa and Ueno station was just a few stops away for 160 Yen (RM6.50).

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Just like every train stations in big cities, there are many exits for each train. So do always refer to the board when you come out from your train. Trust me, it’s worth checking out for the correct exit. Coming out from another exit can be very far from your intended destination.

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Mine was the Central Gate and the moment I walked out I was stunned with the interior of the station!

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See what I mean? Renaissance period? Parisian? French-y yes?

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Ueno is a very busy station as it is a major station on the edge of inner Tokyo and includes Shinkansen lines. Ueno Park and a concentrations of museums such as Tokyo National Museum are some of the main attractions in this vicinity.

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There are many shops within the station as well; all selling the usual food, clothes, confectioneries and souvenirs.

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I walked into this one since it was packed with people.

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Ah, now I know why!

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Macarons are everywhere in Japan. Tempting pastries, puddings, cakes and whoopie pies made my head swim.

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1 whoppie pis is 350 Yen – RM14.

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Ready packed food for all appetites and moods.

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If you’re on budget in Japan, these are perfect. Unlike ours in Malaysia, these packed meals are actually very tasty and fresh. These are meals for a large percentage of the locals too.

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“Ameyoko” is a very busy market street located under the Yamanote Line tracks between Okachimachi and Ueno stations.
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Various products such as clothes, bags, cosmetics, fresh seafood, dried foods and spices are available there. Think of it like our Petaling Street, where the patrons are a mix of locals and tourists. It is a rather fun and interesting spot to check out. Opening hours and closing days depend on different stores.

People are very friendly and items sold here are reasonably priced.

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This is a green tea specialty shop. I immediately wanted a green tea soft serve!

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Chong bought himself and me one each – 250 Yen (RM10). I chose a mix of vanilla and green tea so I could try both! 🙂

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Dairy products in Japan really rocks. This was smooth, creamy and the green flavour was just perfect; not too bitter or sweet.

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Licking our ice creams we walked on. I took videos and pictures as Chong helpfully explained more about the area and Japan.

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The cheapest food item usually starts at 100 Yen – RM4.

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If you ever crave for durians in Japan, be prepared to fork out 1000 Yen – Rm40 for a pack. Quality not guaranteed.

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From the main shopping street, smaller lanes branches out which houses even more shops and restaurants.

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Pachinko – arcades are everywhere.

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And yes, it’s a busy place.

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The streets seem to go on forever.

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At one point we were on a street selling jewelries, precious stones and pearls. I asked Chong if the jewelries here are genuine and he said in Japan, there’s very little fraud cases and almost no counterfeit products.

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Walking around Ueno, I realized we were almost always walking past or under these rail lines.

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Chong started to steer me out of the market and towards Akihabara. Akihabara is well known as a big electric town in Tokyo with its high number of low-price electronics and computer peripherals stores, Akihabara is also home to a huge number of shops specializing in manga, anime and figurines so if you’re a fan of such, you will most likely find it here.

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I didn’t know the way and just followed Chong. Hahha, it’s so nice when you have a guide!

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We could have taken the train of course, but it was within walking distance and it was a good way for me to have a feel of the area anyhow.

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On the way we came across this quaint building/gallery that has small little shops selling delicate accessories, intricate artwork, clothes and quirky collectibles.

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Passing that, we finally reached the Akihabara area!

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Tall lighted buildings, loud music, hordes of humans and a colourful atmosphere signaled the start of the Akihabara area.

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We had to go to one of these IT stores of course.  Along the way, we passed the Akihabara Station and a nice square.

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I was told that a lot of people are crazy about 4KB48? 🙂

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Beck’s Coffee! Welcome! 🙂

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Walking into one of the IT buildings made my head spin.

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But I just had to see for myself how is it like. LowYat is nothing compared to this!

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Just for ONE phone (iPhone 5), the casings section was larger than your average house living room. And that’s only a tiny part of ONE floor.

I had wanted to buy a iPhone 5 but none were sold without a contract so I bought casings instead! 🙂

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I love the Japanese motifs on this one. Anyone wants one too? I bought a spare! Drop me a comment if you do!

This is how it works.

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Cool yes> Something different.

I haven’t seen these before – gloves that allows you to touch the screen of your touch devices while you have them on. Good for the autumn/winter climates.

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We spent an hour here just browsing. Ventilation was poor and the area was stuffy with so many people. We rushed out for the crisp cool evening air.

Since the night was still young, Chong took me to Tokyo main station. Knowing my penchant for desserts and confectioneries, he said it is a must for me to see and perhaps sample some of Japan’s famous cakes and sweets!

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To be continued…

Pictures in this post:
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Category : Food, Japan, Travel