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DAY 7 - ASAKUSA - DAIKOKUYA TEMPURA - TOKYO STATION - SHAKE SHACK - MUTEKIYA RAMEN
Giant red lantern as a welcoming sign before we enter the gate of Nakamise shopping street leading to Asakusa Sensoji temple.
The moment we stepped out from the station, I was literally had my heart attracted to Asakusa. That moment when I saw the lines of antique old rickshaws and the giant red lantern of Sensoji temple, it was an instant crush. The old vibes of Asakusa, especially when we walked around the back side of the temple on our way to lunch, such a pretty neighborhood. Asakusa is probably the only area in Tokyo with that old school vibes.
Asakusa Station. Opening hours: 10am - 5pm
Nakamise street is a line of shops all the way to Sensoji Temple. You'll find plenty of shops selling souvenirs and snacks, including their famous rice crackers. Too bad it was raining that day, though we thankful for the breezy windy air, the rain makes it hard for us to look around freely.
ASAKUSA SENSOJI TEMPLE
Opening hours: 6am - 5pm
From the temple, we walked along to the side of the temple where we find several food street including what we personally feel, best takoyaki we've had in this trip. It might not be the best in entire Japan but among three that we tried in this trip, this is the best one. Giant chunky squid inside gooey takoyaki.
Keep walking straight and you'll find this place with tons of shops and the famous Melon pan Kagetsudo bread. You won't miss it due to the queue line. We tried one and honestly nothing special about the bread aside from how crunchy flaky it was on the outside. Pretty ordinary, but... Since you are there already, you simply have to buy one, just to kill the curiosity.
MELON PAN KAGETSUDO
If you want to see the view of Asakusa, go to Asakusa Culture & Tourism Centre, their observatory deck is the best place to view whole Asakusa. It's free of charge, btw.
Asakusa Culture and Tourism Centre
The view from Asakusa Culture & Tourism Centre's observatory deck
The old school neighborhood next to Asakusa Sensoji Temple leading to many restaurants and shops.
Address: 1-381-10 Asakusa, Taito-ku (8mins walk from Asakusa station)
Opening hours: 10am - 8.30pm (weekdays & sunday), 11.30am - 9pm (saturday & public holiday)
Daikokuya Tempura is one of the most popular tempura restaurants in Asakusa neighborhood. By the time we of our visit, rain was still pouring, yet the queue line was going strong. We waited around 30mins before seated.
Their tempura is 100% deep fried in sesame oil savorily. We each have the Tendon bowl consist of prawn, mixed tempura and Kisu fish 1550 Yen per bowl (IDR 198.400,- per bowl). Honestly, despite the popularity and crowded customers, we didn't feel anything special about their tempura. Seasoning was well flavored in rather deep tempura sauce but the tempura wasn't crisp like what we expected.
From Daikokuya, we went straight to Tokyo Station for the ultimate shopping of snacks and goodies. You can find almost any Japanese snacks here from Tokyo Banana (not all flavors available), Pocky, Glico, complete products of Calbee+, Kit Kat and many more. Just make sure your wallet is ready as the price ain't cheap.
Address: 1-15 Kita Aoyama 2-Chome, Minato-ku (Aoyame Otchome station exit 1, walk for 10-15mins) Inside Meiji Jingu Gaien Park.
Opening hours: 11am - 10pm
After the shopping spree at Tokyo station, we went back to hotel, take a bit of rest and head to Shake Shack. Ever since my first attempt of Shake Shack in Dubai, I have been waiting anxiously for my second time. It was that GOOD! I am loving their first outlet located inside the Meiji Jingu Gaien park. Seriously it was so green, so serene, imagine how pretty and comforting it will be if we came here on spring or autumn. The view would be crazily beautiful.
Therapeutic view along the way to Shake Shack at Meiji Jingu Gaien Park
Though summer isn't exactly the best time to visit Japan since the heat is crazy, the good side is less queue. My three times trip to Japan has always been in summer and I had never experience too much of waiting time everytime we eat. At least not as long as what I've heard from friends who visit Japan on more popular time like spring or autumn. Take example of Shake Shack, I've read few blogs mentioning they were queuing for like 2-3 hours alone for this, call us lucky, but there was NO QUEUE or whatsoever during our visit!
The so so so GOOD Shake Stack 1230 Yen (IDR 157.000,-)
Address: 1-17-1 Minami - Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku (Ikebukuro station west exit)
Opening hours: 10.30am - 4am
The only so called very long waiting queue we had was this Mutekiya Ramen. We were there for supper, I think around 10pm and we waited for a good 1.45 mins just for these bowl of ramen. Was it good? Yes. The broth was thick and full of flavor. Though I literally feel that it was only good at the first few sips, after that the thick broth gets too heavy for my palate. Roasted pork fillet was generous and thick, but for me who don't really into thick pork meat, I only ate one slice of them and left the other two unfinished. I would say that the ramen was good, worth to try but definitely not worth the queue.
Nikutama Men 1050 Yen + tax (IDR 135.000,-)
Ippudo instant ramen in 7-Eleven 278 Yen (IDR 38.000,-), Ichiran instant ramen bought in HK only 1box 5pcs for 198 HKD.
See you on next post...
*based on trip 3-11 Jul 2016. Currency rate 1 Yen = IDR 128