Traveling Solo Doesn’t Always Mean You Are Alone

Thanks to my father’s work, the Tokyo trip has become possible! Who says traveling alone isn’t fun? I get to spend my own time doing whatever I want. The pressure of complying a companion’s needs during the travel is gone. Yay!

The amount of endurance sitting in the bus for seven straight hours is almost unbearable due to the fact that I am not a fan of sleeping while in transit. I just happen to have the habit of looking outside the window, appreciating the beauty of Japan.

While Japan is not a foreign land anymore as I was able to visit the country for several short times, it still took a lot of courage to take a step outside alone because of the intimidating structures surrounding the hotel I stayed in (the difference between the urban and rural life is greatly evident as I arrived in Tokyo). It is my first time unaccompanied in Japan and with the capacity of my Japanese vocabulary and the complexity of the train lines, it is impossible to travel without feeling uneasy.

After a lot of contemplation and planning for my first destination, I headed to Asakusa. Famous for its Buddhist Temple as one of its main attraction, Asakusa boasts a myriad of sightseeing spots earning a crowd of tourists everywhere.

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Tokyo Skytree and Asahi Brewery Building across the Azumabashi Bridge

On this gloomy weather, it is a little disappointing to see the Skytree covered with clouds, but it didn’t stop the flock of tourists from taking selfies with the landmarks.

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Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate)

The Kaminarimon or Thunder Gate leading the path to Nakamise-dori and Senso-ji Temple.

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Nakamise Dori around 7 in the morning
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At 5pm the street is already bustled with people!

The Nakamise Shopping street offers a wide range of souvenirs from food delicacies to the traditional Japanese garments. I didn’t buy anything and now I’m regretting it *cries*. If you happen to pass by here, take a look at every shop, taste all the foods and make sure to not have second thoughts of buying what you want!

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Tourists donning a yukata as they wander around Asakusa

Don’t miss the yukata/kimono experience when you visit asakusa!  You can find some cheap rental shops near the temple. While you walk around wearing the traditional Japanese clothes, some tourists might ask for a picture with you!

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Tourists huddle around the large cauldron

Before proceeding to the Senso-ji Temple, a huge earthenware sits in the middle of the path. The smoke emitting from the incense burner is believed for purifying one’s body. It is a must try when visiting the Senso-ji temple.

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Kannodo Main Hall, Senso-ji Temple

Senso-ji Temple – Tokyo’s oldest temple. Wasn’t able to see the pagoda though because it is under maintenance during my visit.

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Omikuji (Paper Fortune)

Couldn’t read kanji and missed my chance to draw a paper fortune ><.

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Bus vs Car vs Rickshaw

Another thing not to miss out in Asakusa – the Pulled Rickshaw!

This traditional transportation attracts a lot of tourists, it can be found in Kyoto and Tokyo. Most rickshaw pullers are entertainers, actors, athletes and considered pulling rickshaws as their side jobs, some are part-timer students and some have interest in cultural exchanges which explains why they are very friendly and can speak a handful of English. The puller will tour the passengers on their chosen route (price varies depending on the course).

After visiting Asakusa, I walked all the way back to the hotel for some rest and resumed my venture towards Ueno.

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