And now, we were heading to Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa… and it was packed. Like really PACKED! I guess it’s the summer matsuri time of the year, so it was like a double whammy: tourist crowd and locals were all jammed in there. A lot of locals wore their yukata… Aina was supposed to wear hers too, but the one that Jessi bought for her was waaaay too big. I think it was my size. My bad for giving the wrong size to her… Oops. No yukata for Aina this year, then.
I think the last time I went to the Asakusa area was when I was about Aina’s age… So, it’s a good time to visit the temple again. BUT, first thing first, we were hungry! And since we’re in Tokyo, I have to have monjayaki! Shuta then recommended the Edo Monja Hyotan restaurant, located a short walk between the train station and the temple.
There was a line to get in, so we waited for a bit. From where we waited, we could see the Tokyo Skytree, the current tallest building in Japan. We were going to go up and see Tokyo from their observation deck, but we decided not to. Maybe seeing the night view from up there would be interesting, though…
For some reasons, people started leaving not long after we arrived… Maybe they were too hungry and couldn’t wait, but it bumped us up and we didn’t have to wait too long in the queue.
Once again, Shuta and Jessi were the designated people who do the ordering. And there was an instructional print-out on how to cook the monja…
The restaurant was quite packed, and they served very yummy monja. We probably had too much fun eating, that we didn’t take pictures of our monja today… I think we had 2 or 3 portions of monjayaki, and 1 okonomiyaki. Starting today, Aina declared that monjayaki was one of the top 3 of her favorite foods. Yay, proud mommy!
After lunch, we went to the temple itself. It was super crowded. There were many people who went for praying, but most, just like us tourists, were there for pictures. The weather was still very hot, so everyone tried to walk under the shade.
Aina tried to have some good luck by having some smoke on her hair with some help of Uncle Shuta…
We were shopping around for omamori and fortune stuff at the shrine’s shop, but ended up with nothing… They didn’t have cute animal things for fortune readings like the one in Fukuoka, so Aina wasn’t interested.
Then, after that, we walked back to the Nakamise-dori to do some gift shopping and have some traditional snacks. There was this mochi place with long lines of people… and since we haven’t had mochi since we arrived in Japan, we had to try it… It was soooo yummy! The mochi came in 5 skewers and a small glass of ocha. Perfect!
We left the Senso-ji compound with full belly and started walking towards the Sumida River. This was definitely tourist area… So many traditional restaurants and rickshaws for tourists around! It reminded me of Gion area in Kyoto, but much more crowded.
From this side of the river, we can see the Phillipe Starck’s Asahi Beer Hall and its golden poo from across the river.
Since we decided not to go to the Tokyo Skytree, we thought, taking the boat on the Sumida River to Odaiba would be fun… We had never done this before. But the next boat would leave in about an hour. So after we purchased the ticket (using vending machine!), we walked around the riverside park and took photos… including Aina doing ballet poses…
For all the photos while we were in Tokyo, they are in Tokyo 2017 photo album. Other entries of this trip is at Japan 2017 Trip: Ballet Competitions.