An old photo
After I wrote about how I get annoyed by people focussing on how crazy or sexual Japan is, I’ve been thinking I really ought to help change this by writing some posts on great things to do in Japan. Before I came to Germany I had a little Japanese to-do list, which I managed to complete, though I would still like to see the aquarium in Okinawa.
You have probably seen the big red lantern and gate before – it’s one of the standard images for Japan. This marks the entrance to the shrine area, and leads the way to rows of shops usually bursting with people.
One of the gates leading to the shrine has a massive shoe on it. The Japanese sign next to it says that it was made just in case a demon comes along, so that they could see the massive shoe and think that the guardian of the shrine is much bigger and so leave them alone. I always like that story.
An even OLDER photo!
There are loads of websites around there telling you about the shrine, so I don’t need to tell you that. But I stayed in a hotel in the area for a few nights when I was studying in Japan and so have very fond memories of the area. Near the river there was a very cheap sushi restaurant that we ate fried chicken sushi at. And opposite there down a rabbit hole towards the shrine there’s a soba (buckwheat noodle) place that opened at 7am so we could have amazing cheap breakfasts there. The shop’s owner is obsessed with Japanese enka crooners and the place is full of posters and merchandise from their favourite singers.
Inside the indoor shopping arcade there are so many little shops – selling everything from the manekineko cats with the bobbing paws, to solar powered rabbit clocks and even some puffer fish if you feel like eating with death!
The best thing to do in Asakusa, however, is to hire a bike from somewhere and ride around. In the evening ride along the river, and in the morning zip through the shrine itself. Ahhh it was so much fun. You’ll be able to see the golden poo as well.
If you go to Asakusa then please stay a while and enjoy the area around the temple as there is so much to do round there! If you have been to Asakusa before let me know if you liked it there!