Japan 2017 – Day 4

Day 4: Asakusa (浅草) and Tokyo Tower

On a Friday morning, why is it so full of people in Asakusa? This area is known for the SensOji (Buddhist temple). Once you pass the Kaminarimon (thunder gate), you proceed to walk down Nakamise Dori; 250 meters long consisting of 100+ shops.

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Then you pass HOzOmon (Treasure House Gate) which provides the entrance to the inner complex. The 5 story pagoda was completely hidden within scaffolds but all else was just fine.

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All the kids were eating these whip melon pans. We tried one and immediately understood why.

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You can get overwhelmed with the shopping Nakamise Dori and the additional branching out of shopping blocks. So after an hour or so, we headed back to Shinjuku for lunch. We had our minds made up for ramen. But where? This ramen shop called Ichiran. Perhaps its the best ramen I ever had. You simply select your soup parameters from a vending machine and wait to be seated in a ramen cubicle. Its worth the wait.

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Before getting back on the subway to the next stop, we took a walk to Kabukicho (歌舞伎町); the entertainment/red-light district. The Gracery hotel sticks out as it has Godzilla’s head above the building.

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By the way, if you can, check out the 10th floor of this building to be close and personal with Godzilla.

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Although we were at the Skytree 2 days ago, I still thought a quick visit to the Tokyo Tower made sense for a night view of  the city. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk from the nearest subway station. We came across some mario karters on the way.

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The Tokyo Tower has a slight resemblance to the Eiffel Tower.

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There is actually a miniature theme park based on One Piece; a pirate manga/anime. Since I’m a fan, I thought it would be a good idea to check it out. After a quick stop at the gift shop and Mugiwara (straw hat) cafe, we went into the Tokyo One Piece Tower. Maybe if I was half my age, I’d enjoy it more. But I found one thing that was fun for all ages; Usopp’s sniper king game. The goal is to hit 5 targets with a slingshot and then aim for a more difficult target within a minute or so (it’s harder than it looks).

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We didn’t forget to take the elevator to the Observatory.

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I’m of course leaving out details of the long walks and multiple travels using the subway. I haven’t stayed up to passed 8pm until today. We have time for one more stop… the Mario Bar! You can have a themed beverage and play any video game you want (they had all the classics and more). We played some Mario Kart and then called it a night.

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