Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Harajuku & Asakusa Day Trip

Short note: This entry another long-overdue entry, which is supposed to be posted two months ago, in late March. Yes, two months is how long it took before it finally got to get away from the waiting list haha! Another entry with tons of pictures, so I will try to minimise my grandmother-story-telling style this time lol!


Ometesando exit of Harajuku station.

This outing is my second time meeting Cliff and there were extra companies who joined us this time.

Shei Pien had just returned from her spring holidays in Malaysia, and she crashed at our place for several days before returning to Kanazawa. So, the four of us, including Kai Cung, had a day-trip to several places in Tokyo. First stop was the fashion capital in Harajuku. Just like the previous day, we planned to surprised Cliff when we meet him at Harajuku station.


"Never care about what you say, I wear the way I wanna do."

Since he doesn't really recognise Kai Cung and Shei Pien, our plan was that I will met Cliff and then the other two of them would linger nearby us, talking in a familiar language. Then when Cliff noticed them, they would pretend as if the meeting was a coincidence. Too bad that in the end, the pair was standing too far from us and their conversation couldn't be heard clearly.

So, the surprise failed miserably haha!


Forgotten already what ramen is this lol! I think it's tonkotsu ramen with a bowl of rice, which has some meat as the topping.

The first mission was to look for a place to have our lunch. It took us more than half-an-hour before we finally came to our decision. You might think it should be something special, after we took so long to decide but actually, it was just ramen haha!

I think the waitress recognised us as foreigners immediately we stepped into the restaurant, because we were given the menu in English lol!


Which one are you?  ドエス (Do-S) or ドエム (Do-M)?


Imagine a towel that is written with "Pasar Seni" on it lol!


Sorry, I don't understand English haha!

We went back to the Takeshita Street and here is something that should make most of you jealous.


Angels Heart crepe.


Just look at the varieties of crepes they have!


Top two most popular menu - Banana Chocolate Fresh Cream and Strawberry Chocolate Fresh Cream.


I went for the most right one - Caramel Cheese Cake Fresh Cream.


I think this menu is no longer available by this time.


Can anyone (read: Kok Hong), who reads Korean language, tell me what they wrote on this pink card?

Anyway, I think I can roughly guess what they mean. I guess there are some Korean tourists in Harajuku who are too smart or should I say stupid. You see, most of the crepes are priced at around 450 yen to 490 yen, so people would usually pay with the 500 yen coin. These smart Koreans however, tried to cheat their way by using the 500 won coins, which look so much similar with the 500 yen coins.

But the difference is that the value is like fifteen times less haha! Imagine that, you can get fifteen extra pieces of crepes if you pay with the Korean coins lol!


The making of my crepe.


Crepe isn't that filling, but trust me, it was really good!

Our next stop was Tokyo Dome City. This is my second visit to this place; my first during the Golden Week gathering two years ago. Out of randomness, Shei Pien suggested that we take the roller-coaster ride at the amusement park - Tokyo Dome City Attractions. Initially, I insisted because these kind of rides isn't my strong points, and I tried to scare them by saying it's really scary haha!

But the two of them die die wanted to ride on it, and challenged me to follow them. I was kiasu, so I joined them in the end haha!


This might be nothing compared to the Fujiyama roller coaster or the Eejanaika roller coaster in Fuji-Q Highland.


They named it Thunder Dolphin."Ikan Lumba-lumba Berkilat" lol!


The course and the photo spots during the ride.


I can't really recall when was my last time riding on a roller coaster; I think it was like three years ago. Can I still take it now?


It's not often a roller coaster goes through a wall.


Yes! I completed my mission, and I still managed to say "hi" to the camera lol!

Safe to say that at the end of the ride, I got a souvenir - a bad sore-throat haha!

Cliff, who didn't sit on the roller coaster then joined us and we later left to our next location - Asakusa. Before that here are some pictures around Tokyo Dome City.


In front of Tokyo Dome.


Tokyo Dome is the home field of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team.


Rabbit and Giants; somehow, I feel that they are closely related to me.


We spotted a stall - Roti Roti, and we thought it was a bakery. 


We later found out that it's a stall which specialised on Indonesian food. Is there such thing as nasi kecil? Haha!

Asakusa is often regarded as the must-visit place for every tourist to Tokyo. The most recognisable spot in Asakusa would be the Kaminarimon, the entrance to Sensoji temple. Here is where a giant red paper lantern (chōchin) is located, and they often claim that your trip to Tokyo would be incomplete unless you take a photo right in front of the lantern. Something like taking a photo in front of the A'Famosa when you visit Malacca.

Everybody was literally fighting for a spot to have their picture taken at that red lantern. That to me, is something very overrated.


So, I came out with a new idea, which to to take picture in front of the Kaminarimon police box lol!


We were kiasu, so we still wanted to take picture in front of the Kaminarimon as well.


Nakamise-dori with stalls selling overpriced souvenirs.


人形焼 (ningyo-yaki), a type of Castella (Japanese sponge cake) with red bean paste inside.


This is how the inside looks after Shei Pien had her first bite.


The traditional method of making ningyo-yaki, using charcoal.


Apparently, it is a popular souvenir among tourists to Asakusa.


揚げまんじゅう (age-manju) or deep-fried manju, a kind of soft cake, which is another well-known food in Asakusa.


It was nothing much different from our version of pisang goreng, which I think tastes better.


Guess what is this? It's actually the paper used to wrapped the age-manju, which requested the customers not to stand in front of other shops while eating it, and to throw the paper into the rubbish bin after eating. Can you see this happening in Malaysia? I'm afraid not.

Sensoji Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Taitō Ward, Tokyo. Sensoji Temple is sometimes referred to as Asakusa Temple. Sensoji Temple is Tokyo's oldest, and one of its most significant, temples.

The legend says that in the year 628, two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, out of the Sumida River, and even though they put the statue back into the river, it always returned to them. Consequently, Sensoji was built there for the goddess of Kannon. The temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo's oldest temple.


The entrance to Sensoji temple, with the pagoda behind.


The main hall of the temple is currently undergoing some renovation work and is covered with scaffolding.


Tried to foresee my fortune, which turned our to be just a regular one haha!


Everyone tried to wave the smoke to their body for good fortune.


Cleansing the body from whatever physical dirtiness and spiritual sins before entering the temple.


The interior of the temple.


Here's me with Shei Pien, in front of the giant pair of sandals, made of straw.


Sakura seems to be something so long in the past already.


Posing in front of a whatever-it-is board haha!


Here's a group picture of us in front of the temple.

On our way out, there was a tent set up which sells some limited edition traditional Japanese coins, which can be kept as souvenirs, or used when shopping around Asakusa area. We stopped by the stall and chit-chatted a while with the girl, who didn't mind to layan our crazy questions haha!

In fact, she was able to speak some basic Bahasa, which surprised us.


The coins come in two kinds, a golden one and a silver one.


Here you are! The coins are worth 1,000yen and 500 yen.


The only cat without a mouth, Hello Kitty is embedded on the coins.


She showed us a note book, where tourists from all over the world taught her some basic languages of their countries, which I find it really cool!


The four of us (including Shei Pien's hand lol!), inside the train, on our way to have our dinner in Ginza.


Bangkok Kitchen, for my second time.


Pepsi Blue? Haha, no-lah, it was a cocktail, called Phuket Blue.


Todoman Kung (Shrimp pancake) - ¥950.


Pad Pakbung (Stir fried morning glory) - ¥1,050.


Gai Pat Memmamuan Hinmapan (Stir fried chicken with cashew nuts) - ¥1,000.


Tom Yam Kung (Spicy shrimp soup with coriander and herbs) - ¥1,600.


Joining us at the dinner was Kai Cung's and Shei Pien's senior back in IBT, Szu Chin.

Our next and final destination (woah, why it sounded like a movie's name arh? haha!) was Odaiba at Tokyo Bay.

I know the places we visited are very similar to the ones I went when I came to Tokyo late last year, but it doesn't hurt to visit a place for more than once, does it? The more frequent I visit a place, I would be more familar to it, and perhaps I could be a tour guide for interested people (read: Mom tops the list) in the future.


Self-camwhoring in the train haha!


The Japanese borrowed the Statue of Liberty from New York!


Cliff and I, with the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower in the background.


Fuji TV building, with the huge globe on the top floors of the building.


A romantic spot for couples at night, but it was raining on that night!

The train ride during our trip back to Chiba was one of the most unforgettable train ride I have ever experienced so far in Japan. It was the first time that I took a train which was super packed. When I said it was super packed, I really mean it. If you have seen this video, then you should know what I'm saying here.

It wasn't really late yet when we took the train, as it was only nine at night. However, there was an accident in one of the train lines which made everybody took alternative lines. I was once told that when you board a fully packed train in Japan, even the brief case will not drop if you place it in between people's shoulder. That is how bad the condition is. It wasn't a major problem for me because of my height, but for small-sized girls, it could be their worst nightmare.

There was this girl, who dropped her shopping bag in the train and she couldn't even bend down to look for it. She tried hard to bend down, but it was just too impossible and she ended up crying to her friend. There was another time at one stop, where she was almost pulled out from the train when people were rushing to exit the train. Fortunately, her prince charming came to her rescue by pulling her back into the train. Guess who was the guy?


The train was so packed like canned sardine but we looked like we were enjoying ourselves and even managed to take a photo lol!

The prince charming was Kai Cung, and we teased him that he'd gotten himself a Japanese girlfriend haha!