Tag Archives: cuti-cuti jepun

Asakusa Walkaround. Sensoji Temple, Nakamise Street & Asakusa Culture and Tourism Information Center

Right after lunch at Coco Curry House, we headed for Asakusa to enable us to return to our hotel early to avoid the evening rush hours.Taking the Hibiya Line from Akihabara, we needed to change to the Ginza line at Ueno station. Being a first timer, the change at Ueno was a little confusing and involves a fair bit of walking and direction seeking to get to the correct platform for Asakusa.

Asakusa

One of the platform we waited for our train but couldn’t recall which station.

Asakusa station.

Elevator Exit 3 of Asakusa station is 3.4 meters above sea level.

Asakusa

The inter-section of Kaminarimon Street facing Tokyo Skytree.

At Asakusa station, take exit 3 for the elevator and you’ll come out on the same side of the street that will take you to the Sansoji Temple. Taking a right and a 100 meters walk will take you to the Kaminarimon (Kaminari Gate) with that big red lantern. This is the first of two large entrance gates leading to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s most famous and popular temple.

Sansoji Temple

Kaminari Gate, the first of two large entrance gates leading to Sensoji Temple,

Nakamise Street
Past this gate you’ll be in the Nakamise shopping street, the oldest shopping street in Japan. It stretches over 250 meters from Kaminarimon to the main grounds of Sensoji Temple. It is lined with many shops which caters for local specialties and an array of tourist souvenirs. Choice of souvenirs depends on your liking but prices isn’t cheap. A few T-shirts and a number of small souvenirs will rapidly escalate to more than ¥10,000

Nakamise street

Nakamise shopping street just after the Kaminari Gate. The second of the large entrance gate to the temple is in the background.

Nakamise street

The crowd of visitors at Nakamise shopping street. In the background is Asakusa Culture and Tourism Information Center building .

One of the stores at Nakamise selling samurai swords.

Sensoji Temple
Sensoji (‘ji’ means temple) is Tokyo’s most famous and popular temple. It was built in the 7th century, and is one of its oldest, although the current buildings are postwar reconstructions. It is the oldest of all Buddhist temple in Tokyo and also comprises of a five storey pagoda within it’s compound.

Sansoji Temple

Hozomon gate, the second of the large entrance gate to Sensoji temple.

Sansoji Temple

Another big lantern at Hozomon gate.

Sansoji Temple

A close-up of the lantern.

Sansoji Temple

The five storey 53.32 meters pagoda of Sensoji.

Sansoji Temple

After the Hozoman gate is the main hall where prayers are held.

Sansoji Temple

Lanterns with writings hang on bamboo poles.

Sensoji Temple

Useful map of Sensoji Temple complex.

Asakusa Culture and Tourism Information Center
The Asakusa Culture and Tourism Information Center is a distinctive seven storey building in Asakusa. It is located directly opposite the Kaminari Gate of Senso-ji Temple. The building features an observation deck on 8F with an observatory terrace with nice views of the area surrounding Sensoji Temple, Nakamise Street, Asahi (Gold building) and Tokyo Skytree.

Access to the observation deck is free to all visitors. You go up by elevators but expect queue as one would, for anything that’s free. What would usually be a desperate battle against the crowds at Nakamise Street or Sensoji to get a perfect photo, from the terrace it’s non-issue as nobody will be obstructing your view here. There are also seating areas with benches for you to rest after a long walk around Asakusa.

Asakusa Culture and Tourism Information Center

The unique design of Asakusa Culture and Tourism Information Center.

Asakusa Culture and Tourism Information Center

Proceeding straight from the elevator and looking down you’ll get a full view from Kaminari Gate to Sensoji temple and in between.

To your right is the Tokyo Skytree and the golden building of Asahi.

Asakusa Culture and Tourism Information Center

Tokyo Skytree, Asahi building and part of Sumida river.

Halal Curry House CoCo Ichibanya, Akihabara

Having arrived in Haneda, we went straight to Akihabara Washington Hotel to drop our baggage. For lunch, we headed to Coco Curry House which is less than 5 minutes walk from our hotel. This chain restaurant specialises in Japanese style curry rice and has two halal outlets. The first being in Akihabara and the other, a newly opened branch at Shinjuku. Their halal outlets are differentiated by a GREEN coloured signboard, while the non-halal with a yellow signboard.

Halal Coco Curry House, Akihabara

Approaching Coco Curry House halal outlet with the green signboard.

Halal Coco Curry House, Akihabara

1F Uchiomatsunaga Bldg, 16 Kanda-matsunagacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo


Access to Halal Coco Curry House:

Exit Akihabara Station via JR Central Gate. Cross the street to Yodobashi Akiba and turn left. Walk along Yodobashi frontage until you reach an inter-section and turn right. Walk straight +/- 50m till you reach another inter-section. Turn left and you will pass Towarow Plaza building. Walk straight ahead a little bit more till you reach Coco Curry House to your left. Look out for it’s GREEN signboard.

Halal Coco Curry House, Akihabara

Walking route from Akihabara JR Central Gate exit to Halal Coco Curry House

Halal Coco Curry House, Akihabara

Sample of their food displayed outside.

Halal Coco Curry House, Akihabara

Some of the varieties of curry offered at Coco Curry House.

Typical to many Japanese restaurants, the outlet is small, clean and you eat on the counter top. The restaurant can accommodate 10 customers but they also cater for take-away. Deprived of ingredients like fresh coconut milk & fresh herbs, their curry has their own unique flavour which I would give 85% authenticity compared to the curry we have in Malaysia. Apologies, but I find it difficult to concur with my fellow countrymen/women that the flavour of Coco’s curry is insanely delicious (sedap gila). This can probably be true, if someone who had stayed in Japan a long time and have been accustomed to the local flavours.

Halal Coco Curry House, Akihabara

Counter style eat-in with 10 seats.

Halal Coco Curry House, Akihabara

A handful of customers before lunch hour.

Halal Coco Curry House, Akihabara

Compact kitchen of the restaurant.

Our order of vegetable curry with chicken cutlet was cooked to precision with the use of timers for deep frying of the chicken and the cooking of the curry. Once ready, all were placed onto a plate and served. Be careful, the curry is piping hot, it will burn your tongue. This dish costs ¥1,180 for the basic plate. Warm or cold water is served free. For more info on this restaurant, click here.

Halal Coco Curry House, Akihabara

My plate of vegetable curry with chicken cutlet.

Haneda Airport via Monorail to Akihabara

November 2018
The actual flying time from Itami to Haneda is less than an hour. The landing approach was via Tokyo Bay onto runway 34L. Along the landing path, we were able to see the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line Expressway which has a length of it running under the Tokyo Bay. By chance, our plane flew within sight of the Aqua-Line ventilation tower for ventilating the Expressway. The ventilating tower is sort of on a man made island in the middle of Tokyo Bay and looks like the sail of a ship.

Haneda Airport

Our flight by ANA B777-200

Haneda Airport

The Aqua-Line Expressway ventilation tower for ventilating the expressway’s underwater section. Parallel landing with another aircraft on the right.

Haneda Airport

Runway ‘D’ built on reclaimed land south of the main airfield.

Haneda Airport

Past runway ‘D’ approaching the main airfield  for landing on runway 34L. The other aircraft will land on runway 34R in the background.

Haneda Airport

Safely landed at Haneda airport.

Haneda airport is way larger than Itami as it’s the forth busiest airport in the world (2017) even beating it’s sister airport Narita (49th). After claiming our checked baggage, we took the monorail at the airport to Hamamatsucho station for a change to the Yamanote Line for our hotel in Akihabara. The ride on the monorail was 24 minutes while on the Yamanote Line was 11 minutes. The change of train line at Hamamatsucho station entails a couple of minutes walk and the use of escalator to get down to the platform. Ticket payments for the monorail and the train was made using the Icoca card we’ve purchased at Kansai airport. Yes, the Icoca can be used in Tokyo as well, in-fact for most of Japan.

Haneda Airport

Spacious Haneda airport.

Haneda Airport

Ultraman flying in to greet us.

Haneda Airport

Baggage carousel.

Tokyo Monorail

Inside the monorail.

Tokyo Monorail

Views along Tokyo Bay.

Tokyo Monorail

Another view from the monorail.

Tokyo Monorail

End of the road (or rail) for the monorail at Hamamatsucho station for a change to the Yamanote Line.

Hamamatsucho station

Platform for the Yamanote Line at Hamamatsucho station.

Washington Hotel Akihabara

Arrived at Washington Hotel next to Akihabara train station. Less than a minute walk from the JR Central exit.

1 2 3 10