The 1st day on our virtual trip to Japan by Lenka Ferry
We started in the area of Asakusa, the 2nd city center of Tokyo. It’s a place of shrines & tourism, people come here to enjoy, stroll around or come to pray. Asakusa has the oldest temple in Tokyo “Sensouji”. We have seen 5-story Pagoda, Yogodo Hall and Tokyo Sky Tree. On the way to Tokyo Sky Tree we got a chance to tour the train ride with our tour guide Osama. He has shown us how women travel with children even in cold weather, they rent a bicycle with special seats for children that have covers where children stay warm. Surprisingly the cost of the rental is around $1.00; which is very affordable.
Tokyo Sky Tree had many attractive shops and places to buy food. Japanese food is very artistic and they use many colors to allow for beautiful designs added to the finished products. Osamu’s favorite sweets was “Anmitsu”, which is also known to be the favorite from the ancient times. Anmitsu is made of red beans, agar (jello like cubes), mocha, rice powder balls and a whipped cream. This sweet item can be purchased for $9.00 while dining or $5.00 to go. Attractive were also fruit sandwiches called “Fruit Sando”, fruit with whipped cream placed between Japanese milk bread. Fruit Sando can be eaten at breakfast or as snack and the price is around $4.00-5.00. We have also seen sweet pancakes “Ningyo Yaki”, which people usually eat after worship. They are filled with anko bean paste and mold in different shapes. Interesting were also bowls of noodles with soup stock made using ample amounts of kelp from Rishiri, good-quality dried sardines and dried bonito shavings.
Our first day was amazing and we couldn’t ask for a better tour guide than Osama! Looking forward to the next day!
Day 1: Asakusa – Dr. Sachiko Komagata
Osamu, our guide planned and prepared to show us around Sensouji so well that I felt as though we were there with him picking up a fortune oracle, wearing some incense smoke over our body, cleansing our hands with the water from the fountain, and praying in front of the main Temple. While he was explaining the co-existence of Buddhism temple and a Shinto shrine, we were able to have a brief glimpse of a bride and groom dressed in traditional garment for the wedding. What a divine timing!
During our break between 2 sessions, I stayed on to watch Osamu showing us around the town and train station as he move from Sensouji to Soramachi. I have been to Soramachi (at the bottom of the SkyTree Tower) before, but I had many new discoveries with Osamu as a guide.
Looking forward to Day 2 & 3!