Asakusa, Senso-ji temple, Ueno

After pestering Nao for the last few days, he finally gave in yesterday and today we went to Tokyo again - more precisely Asakusa and Ueno, the 'best parts of Tokyo for strolling and observing daily life' (according to my faithful Japan guide).

Once in Asakusa, we went to the Senso-ji temple, the most sacred and famous of Tokyo's temples. That temple is pretty big. The street leading to the temple, called Nakamise-dori, is lined with shops offering traditional Japanese wares including obi sashes, hair combs, fans, dolls and kimonos. At both ends of the street are two massive gates, the Kaminarimon gate at the lower end and the even bigger Hozo-mon gate at the upper end. Once through the gate, you enter the actual temple. To the left is a five-story Pagoda (those Japanese towers you see on documentaries) and in front of you is the incense burner (people wave the smoke over themselves to keep healthy) and further along, the main hall.

Me in front of the Kaminarimon gate in the Senso-ji temple

Nakamise-dori, the street leading up to the temple

Inside, around a hundred people were lined up to throw coins into the temple and light candles. I bought a good luck charm at one of the stores inside the temple. It is supposed to be good for exams. I thought it was more appropriate than one that would keep fire away from me. I also got a horoscope - a number 45 horoscope to be exact - which was a bit worrying, basically it said that I want to dominate the world or something. We walked back through the Nakamise-dori and I bought a Japanese fan with a Samurai motive and some Japanese sweets, sweetened rice balls with bean powder on top.

Nao and I then took the Subway to Ueon. There we went to look for a Calligraphy shop Nao knows, found it and I now own a full calligraphy set :D the lady was so nice as to give me an additional fude (a brush) and some Japanese toy - all because of Japanese new year. I think I love Japanese New Year.

Anyway, after the calligraphy shop we strolled a bit through Ueno Park, a massive park in Tokyo. After a few photos with prince Kametsu - a statue - and me in front of the Tokyo museum, we decided it was time to go home again. Like last time Nao wanted to go to his Cram school again, to 'quickly talk to a teacher'.

We were away for 13 hours. The sad part is that we spend 2hours in trains, busses or subways, 3 hours in Asakusa and Ueno, and 8; I repeat 8 hours in his bloody cram school.

When we got there, Nao talked one of the teacher, got some books and I thought we were going home when he decided to go to a class about how we taste stuff. I didn't know the way home so I stayed. The class was over at 3 o'clock. Nao then said that there would be free Pizza. Since I didn't eat any lunch - after all my shopping I only had 200 yen left plus enough money for the train ticket - I decided to stay. The Pizza came one hour late. Then Naoki wanted to talk to another teacher. We talked to another teacher while waiting, had some snacks, talked a bit more, had some more snacks and talked some more. We waited until 9, when Naoki finally realised that the teacher probably wouldn't turn up anymore.

I was pretty pissed off at him too, while we are in Tokyo, he doesn't have enough time to explore a bit because he says he has to talk to some teacher. Once we are at the cram school he has all the time on earth and we sit around doing nothing!

It was a good day though (well everything except the cram school experience)