Asakusa is located in north-east Tokyo. This peaceful district famous for the Sensoji Temple with a lot of matsuri or festivals are being held near there. Lucky for me, there's one when I visited this temple on Sunday morning. Even though the symbol of Asakusa, Kaminarimon gate (the outer gate), was under construction when I was there.
Nakamise Street is a well known shopping street in Asakusa, located inside the temple area after Kaminarimon Gate. It's open daily from 8:00 to 19:00. You can buy Japanese traditional craft and food here such as mochi, rice crackers, yukata, folded fans and etc. However, the price for those goodies is a bit expensive here. Maybe because this place is so popular among tourists.
So I finally arrived at the inner gate! I was standing so close to watch a parade coming out from the temple.
I didn't miss a chance to try my luck at Omikuji section. Unlike the other one that I've tried at Umeda Sky Building in Osaka, I've got the bad fortune paper this time T.T So I chose to tie my paper to the wires and hope all those bad luck will go away.
Omikuji step by step:
1) Put in 100 yen into the slot (even though no one's watching, don't you cheat on this one)
2) Pick up the metal container and shake it until one wooden stick came out from the hole
3) Match the number on the stick with one of the drawers
4) Open the drawer and take out one paper
The paper written in Japanese on the front side, flip back and you can find the fortune written in English. Don't forget to put the wooden stick back into the metal container. Good luck!
The temple was so full of people that day so my friends and I decided not to go inside the main hall. We chose to have some fun taking pictures with our すごい monopod ;p
Open daily 6:00 to 17:00 (for the main hall), no admission fee
How to get there
From Tokyo Station: to Ueno Station on JR Yamanote Line, transfer to subway Ginza Line (+/- 15 mins)
From Shibuya Station: to Asakusa Station on Ginza Line (+/- 35 mins)
From Shinjuku Station : to Daimon on subway Oedo Line, transfer to Asakusa Line get off at Asakusa Station (+/- 35 mins) - if you want to ride JR Yamanote Line, go to Shibuya Station then transfer to subway.
Callin' out all gamers, anime, manga and gadget freak out there! This district is a heaven for you! You can spend your countless yen in various game arcades here. I didn't do it though, but one of my friend said it's fun! If you're looking for a gadget or any other electronic goods, don't give your second thought a chance and buy them here. You might be lost inside Yodobashi Camera since this 8 stories building is filled with gadget, computer, game console, camera, home appliances and even one big Gundam Store! There are also many restaurants on the 8th level. Akihabara is also popular with the maid cafe where all the waitresses do a cosplay. Most of them are wearing French Maids costume. Other than that, this area is the home of Japanese leading girl group, AKB48, too. They have a theater along with merchandise store and cafe near Akihabara Station.
Yodobashi Camera, open daily 9:30 to 22:00
Games arcades, open daily (mostly) 10:00 to 22:00
AKB48, open daily, cafe 11:00 to 23:00, shop 10:00 to 22:00
Gundam Cafe, open daily 10:00 to 23:00 (open early on weekend)
How to get there
From Tokyo Station: JR Yamanote Line to Akihabara JR Station (+/- 5 mins)
From Shinjuku/Shibuya Station: JR Yamanote Line to Akihabara JR Station (+/- 25 mins)
From Asakusa Station: to Ueno Station on Ginza Line, transfer to subway Hibiya Line get off at Akibahara Station (+/- 10 mins)
High-brand futuristic stores are lined up along the streets. Ginza is the upscale area of Tokyo. It's similar with Apgujeong/Cheongdam area in Korea. I can't afford to buy anything luxurious within this area, but I was really enjoying the view of many well-design buildings. In my opinion, it's better to visit Ginza at night since the bright lights will be shining along your way. Don't forget to grab some mini waffles at Manneken too! If you want to experience shopping in Ginza but Bvlgari, Cartier, Channel, or Burberry aren't the right stores for your budget pocket, you still can visit H&M or Uniqlo within this district.
Stores open daily, mostly 10:00 to 20:00 or 21:00
Restaurants open daily, mostly 11:00 to 22:00 or 23:00
Saturday and Sunday are the best time to visit Ginza because the central street, Chuo Dori, is closed for cars or any other motor vehicle from 12:00 to 17:00
How to get there
From Tokyo Station: take subway on Marunochi Line to Ginza Station (+/- 5 mins)
From Shibuya Station: go to Ginza Station via subway Ginza Line (+/- 20 mins)
From Shinjuku Station: take subway Oedo Line to Aoyama-Itchome Station, transfer to Ginza Line and get off at Ginza Station (+/- 20 mins) - if you want to ride JR from Shinjuku, go to Shibuya Station then transfer to subway Ginza Line
From Asakusa: go to Ginza Station via subway Ginza Line (+/- 20 mins)
Our last stop for the day, the tallest tower in the world, Tokyo Skytree Tower. Most of towers surely have a observation deck as well as Tokyo Skytree. Besides that, there are also broadcasting companies, shops, restaurants, aquarium, and planetarium on the lower level of this tower. Tokyo Skytree has just newly opened 2 years ago with its full height of 634 meters. It has 2 observation decks. The first or lower one is 350 meters high. The Skytree Cafe, Restaurant, and shop are located at this level. The second or higher observatory deck is 450 meters high. I didn't go up to the observation decks, but I think the view of Tokyo and some parts of Japan will look amazing from the top.
Open daily, 8:00 to 22:00
First observation deck ticket: 2000 yen, first and second observatory: 3000 yen
How to get there
From Tokyo Station: go to Otemachi Station on subway Marunochi Line, transfer to Hanzomon Line and get off at Oshiage Station (+/- 20 mins)
From Shibuya Station: to Oshiage Station via subway Hanzomon Line (+/- 35 mins)
From Shinjuku Station: go to Sumiyoshi Station on subway Shinjuku Line, transfer to Hanzomon Line and get off at Oshiage Station (+/- 30 mins)
From Asakusa Station: to Tokyo Skytree Station via Skytree Line or to Oshiage Station via Asakusa Line (+/- 5 mins)
(p) pictures courtesy of Purti