exchange / travel

a day in asakusa

One of my favourite things about Japan is how traditional and modern culture seem to coexist so easily. Even in the heart of Tokyo with all its flashing lights and crazy traffic, it’s not unusual to stumble across the odd temple or traditional Japanese garden. In fact, one of the most popular areas for a taste of traditional Japan is Asakusa, home to Sensoji Temple and Nakamise Dori. Despite the fact that it was a Friday when I visited, the place was packed to the brim. I can’t even imagine what the weekends must be like!

On this particular day I was visiting Tokyo to catch up with friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen since they studied abroad back in Sydney! Anyway, we decided to find out our fortunes because why not? If you’re unlucky, you’re actually meant to tie it to one of the many posts around the temple. I got to keep my fortune since it was a good one though. Lucky me!


This water fountain outside the temple is actually intended for cleansing yourself before you enter. I’m pretty sure there’s a proper method of doing it, but don’t worry if you don’t get it right. I’m pretty sure Japanese people themselves even get it wrong from time to time!

Taking a break in the shaded area, where there are actually pipes spraying out cool mist. If you ever visit Asakusa in the summertime, be prepared! The heat is killer, especially since there seems to be concrete everywhere you go.


From Asakusa we walked to Skytree, where there’s a huge complex filled with shops and restaurants. Since we were in the mood for something sweet we decided to visit Gion Tsujiri, which is dedicated to matcha desserts! I got the soft serve in hojicha, otherwise known as roasted green tea. Compared to my friend’s regular matcha it was a lot sweeter and subtler in flavour, which I really enjoyed.

We didn’t actually go up to the top of Skytree, but this was the gorgeous view just outside the matcha shop. Anyway, after walking around Shibuya and catching up over drinks at an izakaya I actually crashed at a capsule hotel for the first time. The experience was super interesting to say the least, but that’s a story I’ll save for next time!