After a full 2 months, I’ve finally gone through my Tokyo pictures! Hooray! I didn’t take as many photos in Tokyo compared to Kyoto so I’ll keep this post short. These photos are really only from our visit to Sensoji Temple (金龍山浅草寺) and our dinner at Ichiran Ramen in Roppongi (Yummy! But more on that later.)
Senso-ji (Asakusa Temple)
Senso-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple in Asakusa that’s considered the oldest temple in Tokyo. There’s a street called Nakamise-Dori leading from the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) all the way to the temple. Lined with street vendors with traditional foods, souvenirs, ukiyo-e and toys, it’s quite a sensory feast. Unfortunately, I was too busy ogling over lovely kimonos and looking curiously at the takoyaki balls and Japanese desserts that I forgot to get clicking. So, the photos are going to start from the Hozomon (Treasure House Gate), the second gate that leads to the inner complex.
Giant lanterns hanging from the Hozomon Gate
People waft the smoke from the incense towards their heads to receive blessings from the temple deity.
We were lucky enough to witness a procession while we were there. We never figured out what it was for, but these kids with their patterned tops and candy-cane like sticks with bells and pine branch were so cute! We also saw some women dressed in simple kimonos with powdered white faces float by. The highlight though was the golden dragon that danced through the pathway.
This pair of grandparents was selling flowers with their granddaughter right by the temple.
The ceilings inside the temple
Peeking into the actual worship space
R- Looking out from inside the temple out to the five-story pagoda
We saw these giant chrysanthemums along a road parallel to the Nakamise-Dori. I’ve never seen them this huge! My sister and my mom couldn’t help but take a picture with them. Equally adorable is this picture of the pig-tailed girl looking at the Japanese figurines on sale at a store. Just look at the polka-dot detail on the cuffs of her red pants! Cute!
Ichiran Ramen (Roppongi branch)
Later that day, we headed over to Ichiran Ramen on the recommendation of a family friend. The concept is unique because each person sits at his/her own cubicle to fully enjoy the ramen experience. Slurp the noodles all you want! Here’s how it works. You buy your ticket for all the items you want to eat from a machine outside, then go inside and check which aisles have free seats, take a seat, write down your preferences for the firmness of the noodles and the richness of the broth (among others!) and then wait for your bowl to be served by hands that appear in the space in front of you. Having your own spigot for drinking water at each seat is also a convenient bonus!
Blue seats are free and waiting for your butt to plop on them!
Check off your preferences! Firm noodles, medium richness, heavy on the onions, extra noodles, please?
L- My ramen arrived and the bamboo curtain closes for privacy! R- My mom and dad at their tables.
The tonkotsu ramen here was really good, and even though the experience is meant to be for individuals, as long as you sit right next to each other, you can still keep a quiet conversation going. It’s definitely an interesting experience and when they come to New York (supposedly in 2014), I would give them another visit. It was a hearty bowl of Japanese goodness. Yum!