JAPAN TRAVEL

JAPAN: ASAKUSA AND SHIBUYA

May 7, 2017

We finally set foot in Tokyo. It’s such a lively city with a lot of people and lot of places to see. So for our third day, we went to Asakusa and Shibuya. Both places are such huge tourist spots especially Asakusa, and Shibuya is really the world’s busiest crossing as it is literally swarmed with people. Let me tell you how our day went.

ASAKUSA

We headed out at around 9AM and arrived at Asakusa at around 10:30AM. Upon exiting the station, I already saw how much people there is. I didn’t get the chance to explore the shops outside of the station because we headed straight to see Senso-ji Temple. Visitors enter through Kaminarimon or the thunder gate.

Nakamise, the alleyway leading towards the temple is filled with souvenir shops, clothing/apparel stores, and food stalls. I had a lot of fun looking at all the souvenir items and even got lured into buying a set of beautifully designed chopsticks for 500Y! It’s already cheap considering the design but I was surprised that there were chopsticks that were being sold for as much as 2, 000Y. Crazy.

The shops were tax-free and my mom even forced me to buy an Anello bag for med school. I was saving my money to buy myself a new pair of shoes but she told me to get the bag. Luckily, I found a design that I really wanted so it was a win! Anyway, there were a lot of women dressed in a kimono and they were amazing to look at. I wish I weren’t so shy to ask them if I could take a picture of them for my blog. 🙁

Completed in 645, Senso-ji is Tokyo’s oldest temple as well as one of the city’s most important ones. It was built for the goddess Kannon, the goddess of mercy.

Senso-ji Temple is packed! I was surprised by how much people there were. We went inside the temple where the monks were praying and it was so noisy. 🙁 I felt bad for the monks for putting up with such unruly tourists. So we just went out of the temple as quickly as we could because the noise was just too much. Tito Onnie found the ice cream place that he said serves the best matcha ice cream so we decided to try that out.

IT WAS AWESOME. I loved it! It wasn’t so sweet so I really liked it, and I also liked that they served it in a wafer cone as I’m not a huge fan of sugar cones. It’s really tasty but also costly as it costs 500Y each.

The temple grounds is always open. However, the Main Hall is only open from 6AM-5PM. To get to Asakusa from Zama City: we took an Odakyu Line train from Sobudai-mae Station bound for Shinjuku and got off at Sagami-Ono Station. And then we hopped on another Odakyu Line train bound for Shinjuku and got off at Shinjuku Station. We walked towards the JR Chuo Line trains bound for Tokyo, got off at Kanda Station, and took a Ginza Line train bound for Asakusa and got off at Asakusa Station. Senso-ji Temple is just a 2-minute walk from the station.

SUMIDA RIVER PARK

Sumida River is just about a 5 to 10-minute walk from Asakusa so we dropped by there first. It’s a bit disappointing that Hanami is already over because it would’ve looked magical with the cherry blossoms still in full bloom.

There were a lot of people as well but it’s not as crowded. It was fun watching locals relaxing under the trees and just enjoying the view.

The Tokyo Skytree and Asahi Beer Tower can be seen from across the park. We didn’t stay long as we didn’t bring a lounging mat with us but it was still a refreshing place found within such a busy city.

From Senso-ji Temple, you can walk to Sumida Park in no more than 10mins.

SHIBUYA

We took the train to Shibuya to see Hachiko’s statue and Shibuya Crossing. It was already evening so there were a lot more people. It was extremely crowded, I’m not even exaggerating.

There were a lot of tourists taking pictures with Hachiko’s statue that it was a struggle to get a proper picture of ourselves. Who wouldn’t love Hachiko? He’s the loyal dog that waited for his master (Professor Ueno) at Shibuya station even after the professor suddenly died and never came back. We watched Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale some years back and we were all left crying. I don’t think anyone can go through that movie with a dry eye.

We proceeded to cross the intersection and it’s really just insane. I was clinging to my cousin the whole time because I was afraid I might get separated from them. Lol.

But it’s amazing how disciplined people are in such a busy crossing. When the stoplight signals stop, no one would dare cross even when there aren’t any cars passing by. It’s such a good trait that I will always admire the Japanese for.

From Sumida Park, we walked back to Asakusa Station and took the Ginza Line bound for Shibuya and got off at Shibuya Station. The Hachiko Statue and Shibuya crossing is just outside the station.

I had a lot of fun exploring this side of Tokyo that is just bustling with people. I liked that there was still order in what seemed like chaos. Maybe next time I can catch the cherry blossoms in full bloom at Sumida Park!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Sheena Gonzales May 8, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    So many people!! But that’s beautiful! Haven’t been to Tokyo in decades so I really wanna go back soon!

    Sheena
    http://www.sheenalovessunsets.com

    • Reply Pia May 10, 2017 at 5:08 am

      It’s such a sight to witness! <3

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