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Temples of Northern Tokyo

This is a detailed post of my 2 weeks long solo backpacking trip to Japan. Please see preview and itinerary/index of my complete trip on this post.

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Day 9 – Tokyo

Welcome to City of Lights

I reached Tokyo quite late last night. My bus from Kawaguchiko dropped me near Tokyo train station. My first impression about Tokyo was really pleasing. City is full of neon lights , sky rise buildings, shopping malls, smartly dressed people and everyone was busy in their cell phone with ear plugs on. I felt at home 🙂

I had no difficulty in finding vegetarian food and reaching my Cube hotel for the day (More on my hotel later). I just crashed for the day after having a hearty meal at a Nepalese restaurant serving Indian food.

Good Morning Tokyo

By now, you could have guessed what I will have for breakfast. Yes, that’s right. Granola with some hot water as it has been for all of my days in Japan. My plan for the day was to explore shrines and local market of northern part of Tokyo. I had nearly four days in Tokyo with little places to see so I wanted to take it easy. That’s what i always plan but never do! I took my day bag with camera, tripod and some snacks with me and left my main bag in cube itself. Everyone says hotels in Japan are safe. Anyways I had no valuables in my backpack.

Kaminarimon (Kaminari Gate)

My hotel last night (I eventually stayed in same hotel all nights in Tokyo) was near to Sensoji temple and I could walk to the temple in twenty minutes passing along local shops. Area around Asakusa is historic and still maintained in its old form. Sensoji temple is main attraction in Asakusa district. Kaminari gate is officially the entry point of Sensoji Temple. Gate was built 1000 years ago and is a symbol of Asakusa. After spending some time reading about history of Asakusa, I went towards Sensoji temple crossing Nakamise street. Street is lined with over 50 shops selling local food and souvenirs. Street was buzzing with locals and tourists alike. I finalized a few souvenirs for buying, perhaps on my last day in Tokyo.

Kaminarimon (Kaminari Gate). Entry point for Sensiji Temple.

Kaminarimon (Kaminari Gate). Entry point for Sensoji Temple.

(clockwise from top left) Ladies in Yakuta, Local food - Rice dumplings, Japanese paper fans

(clockwise from top left) Ladies in Yakuta, Local food – Rice dumplings, Japanese paper fans

Local Japanese kids having fun time!

Local Japanese kids having fun time!

Sensoji Temple

Sensoji is a Buddhist temple located on the banks of Sumida river. It is also the oldest temple of Tokyo. Sensoji Temple is a few steps from Asakusa Station, served by the Ginza Subway Line, Asakusa Subway Line and Tobu Railways. As expected, it was pretty crowded. Sensoji temple is on everyone’s list so its always crowded. A five storied pagoda stands tall near Main hall of the temple. Main hall is characterized by exquisite wall and roof art work.

Main Hall

Main Hall

What common in Indian, Chinese, Japanese temple? Incense sticks.

What common in Indian, Chinese, Japanese temple? Incense sticks.

A large lantern at entrance

A large lantern at entrance

Main deity

Main deity

Exquisite arts work on roof of main hall

Exquisite arts work on roof of main hall

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Perhaps a saint or worshiper outside main hall.

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A guided tour on a rickshaw is a good choice to explore Asakusa (jinrikisha, literally “man powered vehicle”). A 30 minute tour for two persons costs around 9000 yen. Shorter and longer courses are also available.

I could still see a few blooming cherry trees in temple complex although official blossom period was over in Tokyo. I have had my share of cherry blossom in Kyoto already. I spent the day strolling around Asakusa area and along Sumida river. I was loving Tokyo more than I anticipated. I had a late lunch in a Indian restaurant “Curry Dish” near to Sensoji temple. As a surprise, restaurant was not being run by India chefs. Naan and Dalmakhni were okay but they had nice Onion salad.

I liked the uniquely designed ferries in river and decided to ride it next day as today it was late to venture out somewhere else. I spent the walking along the old Tokyo streets and talking t occasional English speaking tourists. I will leave you with some night shots of the temples. I will share about my Cube hotel experience in next post.

Tokyo Skytree, is on other side of Sumida River

Tokyo Skytree, is on other side of Sumida River

A few remaining Cherry trees in Tokyo.

A few remaining (blooming) Cherry trees in Tokyo. This one is right next to ferry pier.

Sun set along the city streets

Sun set along the city streets

Kaminarimon gate after dark

Kaminarimon gate after dark

Nakamise Street

Nakamise Street

Main Hall os Sensoji Temple

Main Hall of Sensoji Temple

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Five stried Pagoda

Five storied Pagoda

Sensoji temple

Sensoji temple

Next Post -> exploring Urban style of Western Tokyo

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