November 5, 2012

Day 2 in Japan: Tokyo Tower and Sensoji Temple

On our second day, we woke up a little bit late. We had the much needed respite from the previous day's very hectic schedule.

The previous morning, we had breakfast at Starbucks Shibuya.



Starbucks in Shibuya has the view of the Shibuya Scramble Crossing, perfect for people watching and drinking your latte. Just a little information, the cafe latte (tall) costs 340 yen (about $4.5)

On our second day, we had our breakfast at McDonald's. It's also walking distance from our hotel. At 9am on a Sunday, the place was already full of young people. By young, I mean early 20s.



Just had breakfast, still not finished with the McDonald's coffee. We were about to cross the Shibuya Crossing.

That day, we were meeting our Japanese friend. They used to be based here in Cambodia but they're back in Japan now. Their eldest son was EJ's classmate for three years and bestfriend.

The first on our itinerary was Tokyo Tower.



Tokyo Tower, an Eiffel tower inspired tower is a communications and observation tower built in 1958. At 333 meters it was the tallest tower in Tokyo before Tokyo Skytree was built.

EJ, Hubby, Osuke (EJ's bestfriend) and Mr. Kurata (Osuke's dad) took the stairs up to the first observation deck at 150 meters or 500 steps. While the girls (me, Yuki and Chihiro) took the elevator.



EJ, exhausted already at 100 steps. He wanted to go home at the instant. LOL!



After sweating it out, they finally made it to the 1st floor. EJ is still dizzy and maybe a little disoriented here. Hubby who took the picture was obviously tired as well, based on this blurry picture he took of EJ. Anyhow, well done boys!



At Tokyo Tower



View from Tokyo Tower



Hubby at the foot of Tokyo Tower



Kids at the miniature Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower Entrance Fees:
820 yen for adults
600 yen for kids

Our next destination was to meet up with another Japanese friend who were also based here in Cambodia but are now living in Tokyo. Their youngest daughter was also EJ's classmate then.



We met up at Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center, the building just opposite the Sensoji Temple. At the background is the Asahi Beer Building and the Tokyo Skytree.



At the first gate of Sensoji Temple called Kaminarimon. Sensoji Temple is also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple. It's one of the popular Buddhist temple in Tokyo.



After the first gate, you'll be entering a shopping street called Nakamise. If you're planning to buy souvenirs, there a lot to choose from: folding fans, japanese snacks, etc. I bought two paper dolls here.



Entering the second gate..



This is the second gate called Hozomon.



At the main hall. Here's a little bit of history about the temple from japan-guide.com:

The legend says that in the year 628, two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, out of the Sumida River, and even though they put the statue back into the river, it always returned to them. Consequently, Sensoji was built nearby for the goddess of Kannon. The temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo's oldest temple.

After Sensoji Temple, our friends brought us to a restaurant nearby and had an authentic Okonomiyaki or Japanese pancake.



In our table, Mr. Kurata was in-charge with "cooking" of the okonomiyaki and the monjyayaki.



Okonomiyaki  and Monjyayaki. Both are very delicious and filling. From what I have seen, the ingredients are almost the same but monjyayaki doesn't firm up. You eat it directly from the grill using a small spatula.

It was a lovely day with friends and we couldn't thank them enough. I hope we would be able to repay the favor one day in the Philippines :)