Japan Update #8 Asakusa and Senso-ji Temple

Remember our friend we met in Kyoto, purely by cat-petting coincidence? Well, we met up again when we got to Tokyo and he and his lovely girlfriend took us out for some traditional Japanese food in Asakusa. We ate Okonomiyaki, which I've had before, it was actually the cultural food experience we had in high school when I was learning Japanese! But I have also indulged when I was in Kyoto and Osaka. The Tokyo style is a little different, but equally delicious.
We were also treated to a Tokyo-style dish called Monja(yaki). This is new, I'd never even heard of it before! But it's basically a soupy concoction that looks similar to Okonomiyaki when you begin, but has less 'body' to it. You eat it with the tiny metal spatulas right off the hot plate on your table. It was so much fun to cook, I love Japanese style dining where you get to play with your food :)
After dinner, we wandered down to the Senso-ji temple, which is quite a famous landmark in Tokyo. I've seen it in many films as well, but this was my first time 'up close'. Along the way we stopped for dessert, Kaori suggested this fabulous delight, which as far as I can tell, was a deep fried Mochi. Yummo. I opted for "plain" (red bean, my favourite) but there was also custard, black sesame, sweet potato and a few others to choose from.
The temple looked beautiful lit up against the night sky, and the lanterns added a typical Japanese charm.
We donated the requisite ¥100 each for a fortune, and I was lucky enough to receive the "best fortune". I was so excited! Our friend, unfortunately received the "worst fortune", so I've been forced to reconsider the validity of the fortunes in order to spare him a life of misery. As is customary, he tied the bad fortune to the provided wire (traditionally as tree) to free it from his life.
The two Gods (Ni-O) - The God on the right totally seems to be judging what I'm wearing...

Asakusa is probably the closest place in Tokyo (that I have seen) to Kyoto, with it's open air malls selling traditional items, the atmosphere of the temple and the quaint eateries. It's a definite favourite place in Tokyo, such a lovely way to soak up some Japanese culture and escape the relentless neon and noise of the more modern commercial areas.


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