From Oshiage to Asakusa

posted in: Japan Trip 2012 | 0

Today was somewhat more laid back but no less productive or hard on the feet, as Andrew and I searched for different perspectives of Sky Tree. After photographing Sky Tree in Oshiage, we headed across the river to Asakusa, for a different perspective and different lighting.

9:30am JST

After all the exercise from yesterday’s photographic excursions, I’m feeling rather hungry, so I convince Andrew we need to have breakfast at Matsuya. From the apartments we take the more picturesque back way to the Eitai-dori. Monzen Nakachou is rich in imagery, including the giant morning glories, commuters rushing to work, the canals and bridges, utility workers, early morning sun and nature, just daily life in the neighborhood. The view of Tokyo Sky Tree over the canals is also very unique and marks today’s first “view of Sky Tree.”

At Matsuya, I went for the large beef bowl set with rice, miso and vegetables, hearty as usual but that was supposed to be a standard Japanese breakfast of fish, rice and miso, not beef bowl. For some reason, Matsuya didn’t list those items on the ticket machine.

10:15am JST

We recapitulate my earlier solo journey to Sky Tree, taking the Oeda line to Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station and transferring to the Honzemon line which takes us to Oshiage’s Sky Tree Station.

12:00pm JST

Wow, what a sight Sky Tree is, towering over the Sky Tree Town complex! Sky Tree Town is just as crowded as it was on the weekend and included a lot of school field trips and arranged group tours. First we walk around the perimeter of Sky Tree Town and then head inside and find the Sumida Aquarium, a planetarium, a plastic toy train shop “Plarail” and a Tokyo TV Store where I purchase several Doraemon items.

I break for lunch at KFC and a 4 piece meal set that includes large steak fries and a yummy melon drink. The final act of gluttony climaxes with a run to Coldstone Creamery for two huge scoops of chocolate and green tea ice cream, consumed in the shade of the towering Sky Tree. I just hope I can lumber out of here, after all that food!

3:15pm JST

We pop our heads into the Totoro Store, which has tons of Ghibli related wonders for sale. I’ll have to return here sometime soon.

4:00pm JST

After photographing Sky Tree from Oshiage, we head for the Tobu line and Asakusa for another view of Sky Tree. Sensoji Temple and the Nakamise shopping arcade are just down the block from the Tobu line Asakusa Station. The Nakamise shopping arcade sells tons of souvenirs, although mostly overpriced.

The setting sun provides excellent “magic time” lighting across Sensoji Temple… and then the light is gone within seconds as the sun sets beneath the Tokyo skyline and horizon.

4:55pm JST

Taking a break with a cold “Match” vitamin drink from one of the many nearby vending machines. The light changes from twilight to night as the lanterns and spotlights on the temple are turned on, giving new character to the Karamarimon gates, pagoda and temple. The back streets of Asakusa have a great deal of character and we find another terrific view of Sky Tree.

6:00pm JST

As a curiosity, we visit the new Visitor’s Information Center across the street, which is a lovely, modern building both inside and out. Gone is the marionette clock which I video taped five years ago, the figures preserved behind a glass case with no more time keeping duties left to them.

6:30pm JST

Time to hit the road and back to the apartments. This time we will take the Oeda line straight back to Monzen Nakachou from the Oeda line’s Ginza Station not even a half a block away.

7:30pm JST

Finally back at the apartment and settling in with hydration, a snack and laundry!