Asakusa remains one of our favorite areas in Tokyo, and even though we are now staying in Yushima when we are in Tokyo, we go over often. Since my post on our favorite restaurants in Asakusa enjoys lasting popularity, it is time to also talk about our favorite places there for the less hungry, if you just want to snatch a little bite. In fact, Asakusa is full of food option, but let’s get started with three of our favorites in the vicinity of the Tsukuba Express Asakusa station (see map). One of the most popular savory treats in Japan is surely nikuman, a steamed bun with a meat and onion filling. You can load up on those at Sekine (セキネ) behind the ROX building at the corner of Shin-Nakamisedori, a covered shopping street. But attention: when you get them really freshly made, the inside is literally steaming hot.Continue Reading »
Just one subway stop away from the ever crowded Shibuya Crossing (also known as the Shibuya Scramble), an oasis of calm can be found in Tokyo: the Kyu Asakura House (旧朝倉家住宅), former residence of the Asakura family in Daikanyama. The house, built in 1919 is nearly a century old and is surrounded by a wooded garden which slopes down the hillside. Continue Reading »
Inside the forest surrounding Meiji Shrine, there is a separate garden, the Meiji Jingu Gyoen, which holds a special appeal in June. With the advent of the rainy season, its 150 different kinds of iris which emperor Meiji had planted for his empress explode in bloom.
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There is always something going on in Ueno Park on the weekends, and last weekend, we happened onto the Satsuki Festival. This festival is dedicated to Bonsai of the Satsuki Azalea, the best of which were on public display. Continue Reading »
As I am getting mentally ready for our next trip to Japan, I am starting to fantasize about all the food I’ll be eating there. What does one eat in Japan? Sushi, tempura, sure. But these are just the stereotypical choices the whole world knows about. There are many small food items and snacks I am missing when I am out of Japan. Since I have a sweet tooth, things like Dorayaki and Daifuku mochi are coming to mind. And sofuto cream (soft serve ice cream), in particular the typically Japanese flavors of matcha and black sesame! But I will be also totally eating Japanese veggies like edamame, renkon and daikon. I am looking forward to red miso soup, and am even craving some yakisoba. For snacks bought at street stalls, also mitarashi dango is on my list. And nikuman! And a nice cold Asahi Clear beer! Which of course makes me think of senbei, arare and beika (rice cracker based snacks that are often consumed with beer). Continue Reading »