Saturday, January 10, 2015
Golden morning in Asakusa
Asakusa is one of those places that's very touristy and always (always) so crowded- especially during nice times of year. The thing about Japan though, is that if there are crowds, or lines, it's usually for a very good reason. I've rarely encountered anything here that I think is overrated, and the most touristy spots are touristy because they are legitimately appealing and being surrounded be other people to enjoy it just a necessary evil everyone accepts here I think. Anyway, Asakusa is ridiculously charming, and a beautiful place in Tokyo to spend the day. It has a lot of the 'old world charm' vibe going, which I personally tend to prefer to the modernized parts of Tokyo. Sure, the traditional Japanese aesthetics and sentiments are played up here for the benefit of tourists, but it's just so downright charming I don't even care. These photos are from a Saturday in early December when Ryan and I decided to spend the morning exploring and taking in the scenery.
There's a huge Buddhist temple that's sort of the main event- everything is built and planned around it- and the grounds are lovely. Torii gates in all directions, massive lanterns, a tall pagoda, a garden with a koi pond, decorative bridges, and small relocated stones, statues, plaques, and mini shrines from other parts of Japan. There are so many nooks and crannies to explore. Down the main path to the temple, there are tons of booths selling souvenirs and street food, and it's hella crowded, but if you just nip off and take one of the back alleyways, there's a veritable treasure trove maze of tiny ma and pop shops- all kinds of noren in different fabrics flapping in the breeze, beckoning to customers to take a chance on these unmarked, tiny, mystery restaurants. I'm sure they were already full to capacity after accommodating about 4 or 5 local regulars. We had fun exploring the grounds and different alleys, and ended up waiting in a huge line for takeaway melon pan- the freshest, hottest, fluffiest, heavenliest bread I think I've tried to date. At my request we also stopped into a tearoom for some matcha and oshiruko, which is that hot sweet bean soup I've written about it before. I just couldn't stop thinking about eating some after walking around in the brisk chilly December air.
Oh also! I should talk about this dress? I got it in December, and I've worn it a bunch since then- I really love it. We ran into a Felissimo pop-up shop while exploring Kichijoji and I was super excited to check it out since I've order some stuff from them before and usually enjoy their selection. I wasn't quite sure if I could pull it off looking at it on the hanger, but when I tried it on I immediately loved the fit, the fabric, and the coziness. Really digging the long sleeves, thick material, and plaid pattern. I've also been having a real love affair with grey lately.....well like for the past 5 months or so. Actually I think pretty much every new item I've gotten has at least had some grey in it...hm.
Posted by Kitsune-kun at 5:50 PM