Tokyo Trip (15 December 2013 to 18 December 2013)–Akihabara & Asakusa (afternoon) on 17 December 2013

I had better finish writing about my Tokyo trip before this entire thing turns stale. I would need to get this out of my system once and for all – then complete the Johann Strauss best waltzes review and then work on other projects, such as Lego sets and more.

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So as you could see from the previous entry, Akihabara is not only an electronics town, it also boasts a well-stocked hobby centre and (as we can see in the following paragraphs) it is also rich in history.

But first, in the picture that you could see above, I’d be showing you a sweet snack that I enjoyed.

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This is ‘Taiyaki’, made of pancake batter and typically contains sweet filling, often red bean but may also be of other kinds, such as chocolate, cheese or sweet potato.

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The filling is sweet potato – fresh and hot from the griddle. I would have taken better pictures of the snack, I must concede, if not for the heavy load that is the ‘Dreamcast’ console that I’ve bought just half an hour before. I mean, it would be unthinkable to lay down the game console on the road while I eat this delicacy. Besides, eating hot ‘taiyaki’ in the middle of a street isn’t a really pleasant experience. Still, it was a tasty snack and the chilly weather had a somewhat balancing effect.

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This is a look at the back of the packaging.

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Now, it’s time to get to another tourist attraction within walking distance from Akihabara.

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This is the torii to Kanda Myojin (神田明神).

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Here’s some historical overview of the shrine. I hope the text in the picture above is legible enough.

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This shrine exuded a sense of calmness perhaps because there weren’t many worshippers and visitors.

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There was also a pony within the compound of the shrine too. I’m not sure of its significance, I’m afraid, so if any Japanese readers could shed some information here, that would be great.

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Here are more pictures of the beautiful pony.

I must admit that sometimes I’m wearing blinkers while taking photos and also blind to many things in life. There are so many other sights that other bloggers have captured and I sometimes wonder if I’m just sleepwalking or dreaming awake because I missed out so many details. I promise myself to be more attentive while enjoying the sights at the same time. The reader must come away from this blog with a proper message and not getting disenchanted.

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Time for a quick snack. This is the delicious onigiri which I’ve been snacking on when I need a rapid energy boost. At 188 calories and 120 yen per snack, this is an economical and sensible choice when travelling from one location to another within a short space of time.

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I’m back at my favourite spot in Tokyo – Asakusa for the second time in 2 days. The city model above is located inside the Asakusa tourist information centre.

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This time, I’d be heading to Imado Jinja to have a better look at the maneki neko (better known as ‘beckoning cats’) which are thought to bring business luck to its owner.

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It’s not such a good idea to walk so far there, since it was a quite a long trek from the heart of Asakusa to the cat shrine.

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Well, here we are. When I arrived, a group of exuberant school children were coming out of the shrine.

It’s really wonderful to see the blend of modernity and mystic in one scene. I suppose that traditions could never be easily swept away.

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Aww, beckoning cats.

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A brief description on the Imado earthenware history.

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It’s thought to be good luck to take a picture of the shrine and the beckoning cats together. You may save the picture if you wish….. you’re welcome : )

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The shrine office is at the left, where you could buy some souvenirs, lucky charms, omikuji (fortune telling scripts) and omamori (protective amulets). The two ladies ‘womanning’ the office were thoroughly amused that a Malaysian Chinese could have visited this shrine and bought omikuji for fortune. The kindly elder lady even gave me a small bar of meiji chocolate. How nice!

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As evening turns to dusk, the lights of Asakusa were all aglow. See it all in the next post.

  

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