May 7, 2022

2 hours in Asakusa, Tokyo

If you have only 2 hours to spend in Tokyo, I suggest you start from Asakusa. In this itinerary, I will share with you light & easy walking trip around the Sensoji Temple up to the Tokyo Cruise peer. Although it is generally called the "Asakusa Temple", the vicinity house a lot of separate shrines, and the places that I highly recommend not to be missed are: 

#1 - Kaminarimon Gate

This is the famous huge lantern at the entrance of the temple. Other than being the signature photo spot for Japan, the gate serves as a guardian. If you look closely, there are statues of gods right next to the lantern and they are Fujin (god of wind) and Raijin (god of thunder, lightning & storm). 

#2 - Sensoji Temple

Sensoji is a Buddhist denomination temple and the Goddess of Mercy being the main god here. If you are a Buddhist, you can experience a different process of praying and offering here. If you are not, like me, I just enjoy the fortune telling section on the outside of the temple. The style is pretty similar as how the Chinese do it. You just draw the stick and then find the number on the shelf. Pick your fortune notes from the drawer. It's just as simple as that. I find it pretty accurate. 

There are other temples that dotted around Asakusa. If you have more than two hours to spend, I highly recommend you to check out other temples too. 

#3 - Nakamise Shopping Street

Just right outside the Sensoji Temple is a stretch of shopping street where you can purchase souvenirs, postcards or snacks. Back in ancient time, the retail experience centered around the temple because going to temple is a frequent affair. In those days, people will One of the famous snacks here is the melon pan - which is a sweet bread in a melon shape. You trip to Asakusa is not complete without this. 

#4 - Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center

There are plenty of things to learn from the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center if you are lover of traditional Japanese culture. You can sign-up for the guided tour but I missed it because I only had 2 hours to spend here. Instead, I went straight up to the top floor where there’s a quaint little cafe. After almost 1.5 hours of walking and exploring the temple, it is nice to sit here for a cup of coffee and enjoy the bird’s eye view of the city. 

#5 - Tokyo Cruise 

As you leave the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center, walk towards your right and you will end up at a junction towards a bridge. That is the Tokyo Cruise pier. It is a picturesque backdrop here with the magnificent Asahi Tower glistening across the river bank. 

This spot is the end of the 2-hour itinerary at Asakusa. What happens next? You can take the Tokyo Cruise towards Odaiba where I highly recommend the Oedo Onsen Monogatari. It is the popular Odaiba hot spring resort. In my case, I went for affordable fine dining within walking distance from here. The fine dining costs approximately RM100 per person, that is a pretty good deal in Tokyo! I will share with you more info in the next post.


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