Saturday, July 31, 2010

Japan Day 15 P2

Behold, it's me Leecher blogging here. (must contribute my fair bit or risk facing the wrath of You-Know-Who)

Another round of cleansing since we are entering the main hall of Sensoji temple.

One of the most majestic cleansing ponds I have seen so far.

We didn't take a lot of pictures within the temple for fear of "offending the gods", instead we spent most of our time at Asakusa looking for this shop! Courtesy of one of my colleague who told me there's this shop which sells freshly grilled Senbei (a kind of Japanese rice crackers)

Look Blamer was so happy holding onto her Senbei!

I like mine wrapped in a piece of nori. Adds flavour and extra crunch to the cracker.

Next Blamer spotted these cute round balls and wouldn't leave me alone till I promised to let her try one.

The texture was very much like our glutinous rice balls except that they were more colourful and has a slight flavour to it. I believed what Blamer tried was yam flavour.

This was slowly turning out to be a feasting spree. No guesses to what we were having next... ...

But I spotted something else at the same shop front, partly seduced by the aroma lingering in the air.

This was really interesting, I suspect it was made of coconut sugar, or what is commonly known as "black sugar", and they have a coating of soy sauce brushed onto it, giving it a savoury yet sweet taste at the same.

And then the shop lady offered me something else. Spicy! Many ways to eat this snack I must say, but this was way too spicy for me!!!

Which make our initially objective much more appealing to me at the moment... ...

Blamer seems to be exceptionally happy to get her hands on the food, I'm just relieved to be able to extinguish the fire in my mouth.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Japan Day 15 P1

After my little "strike" over the wkend, Leecher was "forced" to blog Day 14 (most of it)! Sometimes, going on strike is good, lol ... just kidding. I was busy with personal stuff & Leecher 难得 took the initiative to blog.

Anyway, after 2 days of magical adventures in Disneyland & Disneysea, its back to Tokyo sightseeing. Today marks the last full day in Tokyo before we pack our bags and leave the land of the rising sun to sunny Singapore.

Our 1-day Tourist Open Ticket pass as our JR pass had expired.

Our first time taking the Metro. We were on the JR trains for the past 14 days. Personally, I prefer JR trains as I find that they are located in more strategic locations as compared to the Metro. En-route to Asakusa, 2 stops away from our apartment.

Asakusa is one of Tokyo's few districts, which have preserved a certain atmosphere of the old Tokyo. Kaminarimon (seen above) is the first of 2 large entrance gates leading to Sensoji Temple. Built more than 1000 yrs ago, it is the symbol of Asakusa. The Nakamise shopping street leads from Kaminarimon to the temple grounds.

The famous Asakusa Nakamise shopping street. Nakamise is one of the oldest shopping centres in Japan.

Food! This pinky stall attracted my attention. Since we are in Japan, must try sake & this version is sweet sake :) Nice!

Kibidango aka millet dumplings. They are so soft & smooth that literally melt in your mouth!

Next, we tried home-fried beanjam bun (seaweed flavour) aka "Goma Age Manjyu”. There are many varieties, but most have a filling of red bean paste, made from boiled azuki beans & sugar.

The main attraction of Asakusa - Sensoji, a popular Buddhist temple built in the 7th century. The temple is dedicated to the god of mercy, Kanon. It was built after a golden statue of Kanon was fished out of the Sumida River by 2 brothers in 628. All attempts by the brothers to return the statue to the river failed as it was always returned to them. In 645, the temple was built around this statue and the legend was completed. The temple's buildings were almost all destroyed in air raids on March 10, 1945 and were reconstructed after the war.

The gigantic slipper (zori) hanging at the 2nd entrance to the temple! It was hung so high up that we couldn't even reach 1/4 of its height after jumping.

*bed time now for me, to be continued in p2*

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Japan Day 14 P4

Alas it's not till after 9pm before we can go into the Hotel Hightower now known as the "Tower of Terror".

And so we thought we should try out this Venetian gondola ride. However, we were told that the main show of the day, BraviSEAmo will be coming on soon and all the waterways will be closed. We were asked to come back later, and shouldn't be missing this romantic story about a "Spirit of Water" and a "Spirit of Fire" meeting on the waters of Mediterranean Harbor.

Hence we embark on a journey to look for the perfect spot to view this spectacle. Does this spot looks ok?

One bad aspect of going on holiday during the autumn or winter season is that daytime is so short. Before long, night is upon us and the BraviSEAmo starts... ...

The "Spirit of Water"?

I am pretty sure that this was the "Spirit of Fire".

And of cos how can this be a Disney parade without Mickey and friends... ...

The grand finale that lit up the sky!

After BraviSEAmo, we took a quick picture of the Chirstmas tree in the middle of the harbour before the lights went out.

And our next destination, the long awaited Hotel Hightower.

AKA Tower of Terror!!!

A picture of us before we were sent plunging down from about 199 feet! Surprisingly, I think we looked quite cool and collected in the picture while others were raising their arms.

After the free-falling experience, we need something more relaxing... Our last ride of the day, Venetian Gondolas.

By this time, Dent Dent was nearly out of juice, and we still can't figure out how to take better night photos with Dent Dent. Our friendly guide who was very enthusiastically narrating some story, a pity he spoke in Japanese, Blamer and I could only smile and laugh along with the rest of the passengers.

Dinner at our favourite 24hrs beefbowl shop again since it was almost midnight by the time we got back to our apartment.
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