Asakusa’s Sensoji & Kitasenju’s Ajihisa izakaya

Next stop was Asakusa’s Sensoji. On the way we saw this cool mural on the wall. So artistic.

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Mural

Sensoji is Tokyo’s oldest temple and most historical. It is the ground for the famous festival – Sanja Matsuri. Probably one of Tokyo’s most iconic tourist spot.

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Entrance to Sensoji

Famous for its gate in the front – called kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) In the middle of it hangs a giant red chochin (lantern) which is 4m tall and 3.4m in circumference.

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kaminarimon

Heres another shot of it from the front.

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kaminarimon

And another one.

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kaminarimon

Heres the famous street (Nakamise Dori) with many shops leading to the Sensoji.

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Nakamise Street

We had some Red bean sweets on the way to the shrine.

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Red Bean sweet shop

Even had a knife shop. Looks pretty sharrrppp…

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Knife Shop

You can get many souvenirs and many other things to eat along the way.

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Nakamise Street

Once you get to the end you see Hozomon (Treasure house gate) which has two statues and 2 giant sandals.

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Hozomon
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Hozomon

Theres another lantern here, not as big though. It states the name of a town Kobunacho.

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Kobunacho lantern

You can also try your luck with omikuji (Lucky charm paper), pretty much tells you your future lol. Basically you shake this tin with sticks which are numbered. Then you go the corresponding box and get your lucky paper. It was all good things on our paper so you get to keep it. If its unlucky, then you tie it up on a piece of string!

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Omikuji

Asakusa main hall

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Main Hall

Then you have these massive barrells of sake (probably empty) right next to the shrine.

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Barrels of Sake

Here is one massive sandal!

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Massive Sandal

So Mr Dora then took us to have “hoppy”. So next to the shrine there was this street where there are  lots of eateries.

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Next to Sensoji Streets

Just in case there are some horses that go through this area!

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Sign saying get off your horse!

You can buy very random things on this street. IK bought a squirrel brush for her make up.

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Streets of Asakusa

here we are. Izakaya Tonpei!

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Izakaya Tonpei

He wanted me to try this… Hoppy. Pretty much a non-alcoholic beer, and we added some shochu in it.

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Hoppy

Then had some small eats Nikujaga or something like that.

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Nikujaga

IK wanted to have okonomiyaki. So we took a train to Kitasenju where Mr Dora lives. We went up to have Monjayaki and Okonomiyaki.

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How the okonomiyaki comes in.

So you cook it yourself in Japan. Firstly, learn from the pro. You mix it, add a bit of sauces like soy sauce etc.

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Mixing the mix first
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Keep mixing…

Then pour it on the hot sizzling plate. This one is a monjayaki which is more watery and has lots of salmon roes in it. Apparently this is what kids eat as snacks in Japan.

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Cooking up Monjayaki

You use these little cute utensils to eat it as well!

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Monjayaki utensil

Now for IK’s turn to mix the Okonomiyaki.

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Mixing okonomiyaki

Then you layer it on the hot sizzling plate in a circular shape.

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Slapping it on the sizzling plate

Then flip it after a couple of mins. Then sprinkle some nori on top.

 

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Okonomiyaki
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Sprinkle some nori

Then some bonito flakes that wriggles. Then some Mayo on top and wahala Okonomiyaki DIY. Mr Dora shook his head when he saw the couple next door cooking it. Telling us its the WRONG way to do it. Tip for you – go with a local. well someone who loves to eat as well!

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Bonito sprinkling
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Mayo on top

We were pretty full by the time we actually had the real meal lol.We went to this very local but delicious izakaya – Ajihisa.

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Izakaya Ajihisa

Some Japanese pickles to start and some starters.

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Japanese Pickles

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Theres another fish market second biggest apparently near here and this is where that sashimi comes from. Big CHUNKY pieces yet so FRESH.

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Sashimi Moriawase

Next some clams, they were pretty big.

Clams
Clams

Fried oysters next. So damn good.

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Fried Oysters

Next, some fried chicken with lemon.

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Fried Chicken

Then a massive tempura platter

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Tempura platter

Fish testicles anyone? They were creamy and with some ponzu sauce, it was quite nice actually.

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Fish testicles

Then we had some Gingko nuts which was on top of some hot salt. Funny taste indeed, a little bitter, but texture was not hard, but more like chestnut texture.

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Gingko nut

I was seriously about to puke soon, I have certainly gained some weight during this trip and this monster nabe comes. My god, its got salmon, prawns, shittake mushrooms, clams, tofu, cabbage, enoki mushrooms, oysters as well.

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Seafood Nabe

Oysters were so good. Can’t beat a nice nabe in Japan. Ultimate dish.

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Nabe with oysters

Mr Dora was the last to finish eating. Can’t blame him, we had so much food!

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Mr Dora

Bottom line 

To really experience the local cuisine, nothing beats a local bringing you to places. I think Ajihisa was probably my favourite out of this trip. Being able to dine amongst locals without having a english menu and eat what they eat was amazing. Love to have some restaurant like that in Melbourne one day.

Izakaya Tonpei

This place reminds me of the local street food shops in Taiwan/ Hong Kong.

2 Chome-3-17 Asakusa, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0032, Japan

Go here for … : hoppy!

Rating : Only had a few dishes and hoppy so no rating for this place.

Ajihisa Izakaya

19-7 Senjuasahichō, Adachi-ku, Tōkyō-to 120-0026, Japan

Dish of the day : I think all of the dishes deserve some credit but the sashimi was just so fresh and chunky.

Disappointing thing : They don’t have desserts…

Rating 15/20

Next up : Zakuro Shabu Shabu and JAL first class lounge and Cathay Pacific First class experience

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