Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Asakusa + Tempura

I wore a cheetah print for the occasion

Some days I love playing tourist. Even though I live in Japan, I'm still in the process of discovering my surroundings, and setting off on various small adventures never fail to give me a bit of a thrill.

My latest escapade was in Asakusa, a district in Tokyo I never wander to (but should). I had briefly crossed Asakusa once, four summers ago when I was backpacking through Japan, having stayed at a capsule hotel nearby (and getting very little sleep as the capsule experience and numerous packs of Pocky got me a bit too wired).

Asakusa is the traditional neighbourhood of Tokyo, and it overflows with tourists. It's home to the gorgeous Senso-ji Buddhist temple,  dedicated to Kannon. Asakusa also boasts other distinct features:  Tokyo's oldest Geisha district, a street dedicated to domestic kitchenware (Kappabashi-dori), Sumida River, as well as a small amusement park (apparently the oldest in Japan). Asakusa is famous for tempura, a Japanese dish of vegetables or fish that have been battered then deep fried. My friend Justin suggested I treat myself to a nice tempura set, which I did and it was the most exquisite meal I've had in a long time.

As I walked amongst the hordes of tourists, I realized I could easily be mistaken for one, but I didn't feel like one, as Tokyo is my home now. Yet, my heavy mind and heart were soothed by the simple act of pretending to be a tourist, as it reminded me of discovering Japan and how I fell in love with this country in the first place. It made me wonder if it still loved me back.

I think I should slow down on the coffee and chocolate intake.

(If you don't already, you should read Justin's blog, as it's most entertaining, raw and full of gorgeous shots. He has no self-censorship and we love it).

Senso-ji temple, Asakusa

Up close and personal

Beautiful adornment

Growing Tokyo skyline. Hello, Sky Tree.

Wandering on the Sumida River Banks

The Asahi "Flame", beer building designed by Philippe Starck

Welcoming my tempura set with fear and excitement

Tempura-ed shrimp and kisu fish on a bed of rice

I like the traditional architecture of the restaurant

I highly recommend Daikokuya Tempura in Asakusa

And another shopping street to end my day


Michelle {lovely little things} said...

This is where Lindsay and I stayed when we were in Tokyo, we LOVED it! There was lots of great food for cheap too :)

Anonymous said...

I am glad I read this entry. You write very well and I can relate. Thank you for that. :)

Dustin said...

Beautiful pictures! That tempura looked delicious! The "flame" on top of the Asahi building has a less flattering local nickname. (Unchi)

Vivian said...

myneonsignlullaby- thank you. i'm glad you could somehow relate, i'm always happy when other people feel similar:) i love your blog as well, beautiful photos!

Dustin- haha, yes i found out! it deserves its local nickname though...