Tokyo, Japan Travel Log Day 2: Traditional to Modern
When travelling to Japan it is common to see a mixture of old and new. The best way to experience this is to visit both the historic Asakusa district and the very modern Odaiba district. The contrast made my trip interesting and educational. It felt like I have traveled the past, the present and into the future.
Asakusa (浅草) District is just a train away from where I was staying so it was easy to commute. The main attraction is the Sensoji temple which is a Budhist temple. Enter the main gate and pass through Nakamise, a street lined with shops. It is obviously catered to tourist; they sell traditional snacks, souvenirs and even action figures. I bought a Neko figurine for my friend and tasted some of the street food.
The entrance to the temple is called the Kaminarimon, a symbol of Asakusa. I lit some incensed and also tried O-mikuji to get a glimpse of my future. First pay/donate then get the metal box and shake it well until a fortune stick comes out. Check the number on the stick and match it with the number written on the wooden drawer. Inside the box is a strip of paper that contains your fate. You can either take the paper home or tie it outside the main hall.
The entire district can be explored by foot or you can hire traditional rickshaw for a guided tour. From the main temple I walked to Asakusa Shrine then went back to Nakamise to check the shops. If you want to shop more head to Shin-Nakamise Shopping Street. Dempoin Dori is also a beautiful part of the district; you can definitely feel that you are being transported in the past.
After lunch, I walked towards Sumida Park, just a few blocks away from the Asakusa. I got tickets for a Sightseeing Boat going to Hama Rikyu Garden. It took us 35 min to reach the garden, a perfect time to rest those tired feet. The ride was enjoyable as you get to see a different side of Tokyo. Hama Rikyu is a large garden in Central Tokyo. I can’t believe a park existed in the middle of the city. I loved walking around the garden and taking photograph of the ume blooms.
My next stop is Odaiba, from the garden I walked to Shiodome Station and boarded the Yurikamome elevated train to Odaiba. I started my trip by foot, then rode a boat and finally reached Odaiba via a modern train. Many anime fans like me go to Odaiba for one thing, and that is to see the “life size” gundam statue. You can also enjoy different shopping and attractions at Aquacity and Decks and palette town (unfortunately no live pokemons). Odaiba is actually a man-made island and it is famous as a shopping and entertainment district. Odaiba is truly a place to experience the ultra modern side of Tokyo.
Read: Tokyo Adventures