Monday 15 April 2013

[Day 5] Kaminarimon (雷門) @ Asakusa

Asakusa (浅草) is located in the center of Tokyo with Sensō-ji Temple (金龍山浅草寺) as its main attraction. Kaminarimon Gate (雷門) or also known as the "Thunder Gate" is the outer of two large entrance gates that leads to the Sensō-ji Temple. With its Giant Red Lantern and statues this attraction is popular with tourists as well as hot spot for photos taking too.

Asakusa is accessible by the Ginza Subway Line, Asakusa Subway Line, Tsukuba Express and etc. And from Asakusa you could also take a 20 minutes walk across the Sumida River to the new Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー) attraction.

From Tokyo Station
Take the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station (2 minutes, ¥130 Yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, ¥160 Yen).

From Shinjuku Station
Take the orange JR Chuo Line to Kanda Station (10 minutes, ¥160 Yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, ¥160 Yen).

Since we were at Ginza area after visiting the Tsukiji Market (read more HERE) , we decided to take a 10 minutes subway ride to visit the well-known Kaminarimon gate.

Kaminarimon gate was built more than 1000 years ago and it is the symbol of Asakusa. Cross the gate, there is this Nakamise shopping street that leads from Kaminarimon to the temple grounds.

As you could see, Nakamise Shopping Street (Nakamise-dori) stretches from the entrance of Kaminarimon gate to the main grounds of Sensoji Temple. Along the stretch it is lined by more than 80 over shops which offer local specialties, food and array of souvenirs for tourists.

BBQ Rice Crackers

Matcha Mochi Manju with red bean filling @ ¥80 (SG$0.80) each

Osenbei (rice crackers)

Pastry master making Ningyoyaki which is small cake filled with red bean paste. These small cakes various in shaped like hello kitty, animals, traditional lanterns and etc.

View of Tokyo Skytree from Nakamise shopping street

About 100m towards the entrance of the Sensō-ji Temple, on the right, you would be able to catch a view of the magnificent Tokyo Skytree. We are unable to go up to the Skytree tower due to the festive crowds (Thanksgiving Day Holiday in Japan, 23 November) and tourists who had already pre-purchased the tickets.

History of the Sensoji Temple

Main entrance of the Sensoji Temple

Sensoji (金龍山浅草寺) is a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. It is also one of Tokyo's most colorful and popular temples that was built in 645 making it the oldest among all. Often there are various events held throughout the year in the Sensoji Temple area. The biggest of them is the Sanja Matsuri which is an annual festival of the Asakusa Shrine that helds in May.

Amazake (甘酒) @ ¥300 (S$4.00) per cup

Along the way back due to the cold weather, we decided to try this Amazake (甘酒) which is a sweet Japanese drink made from fermented rice. It tasted slightly sweet fragrance which makes it a best hot beverage for cold winter night.

Due to winter, the street gets darker earlier like what shown above even though it was only around 5.30 pm in the evening.

Opposite the main entrance of the Kaminarimon gate, there is a famous Dorayaki (銅鑼焼き) shop know as Kamejyu (亀十) which is just seconds away from Tokyo Metro station and Kaminarimon has being serving Dorayaki for more than 80 years.

Most people come for their Dorayaki but other than that, the also have Kintsuba (Sweet red bean paste), Monaka (Sweet red or white bean paste in wafers), Mamemochi (Sticky rice cake with beans), Candice Blackbean/Chestnut and etc.

Above shown is their signature Dorayaki (銅鑼焼き) which comes with either sweet red or white bean paste at ¥315 (SG$4.00). These are definitely the best Dorayaki that we had which is soft and fluffy, filled with refined fillings that made with beans from Hokkaido.

2-18-11 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3841-2210

Opening hour:
10.00am - 8.30pm

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