Asakusa & Senso-Ji Temple
We set off to Asakusa around 10:30 and it was already extremely busy. The heat was intense but bearable. Navigating the Tokyo metro was amazingly easy and we soon found ourselves walking down Nakamise shopping street towards the temple entrance.
We posed for some photo’s at the entrance and took in the sight. A sweet older Japanese gentleman came up to my eldest son and asked if he could practice his English. They had a short conversation about where we were from and how long we were staying in Japan.
We saw the Jokoro, a large incense burner. People gather around this and wave the smoke over themselves as it’s believed to have a healing effect.
We drew Omikuji. Fortunes you gather by turning a box filled with sticks then looking at the writing to match up with a particular drawer containing your fortune.
We all got average to good fortunes apart from my poor wife who got a bad fortune! Not to worry though, the shrine has a place for you to tie up and leave behind your bad fortunes. The temple priests will then burn these, burning the bad fortune at the same time.
Afterwards, we explored the backstreets around Nakamise shopping street, eating Ichigo Ame (Candied strawberries), mochi and melon pan. All were amazing, especially the strawberries which were some of the most flavoursome I’ve ever experienced. Having fresh Mochi vs packets was also an amazing experience.
We wandered a little further out to the local shōtengai (covered shopping streets) and back alleys to soak in the atmosphere a little more. I’m already bowled over with just how photographic Tokyo is.
The open air market of Ameyoko was next on the agenda. On the way, we hit up 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN first, a collection of small boutique shops opened under an overhead railway line.
Ameyoko itself was super fun, with us finding candy stores with the equivalent of UK penny sweets or pic n mix for us to gather up.
Being a video game nerd and to a lesser extent an anime otaku, Akihabara, Tokyo’s “electric town” filled with games, geek and electronic shops was going to be a highlight for me. On Sunday afternoons they close the huuuuuuge main road to make it accessible to pedestrians and the atmosphere was super chill as we wandered around.
Top of my list of places to visit was the legendary Super Potato, a store with its roots as a general store in the 1960’s that morphed into a games store then a retro collectible game store. Super Potato has been mentioned in gaming magazines and then podcasts since I was a kid, so being able to walk the isles and take home my own piece of gaming history was an incredible experience for me.
Walking back just as the sun was setting was beautiful as the light started to dim and the shadows stretched out. I couldn’t stop taking pictures.
What did I buy at Super Potato then? Let’s take a look! 👾
Pilotwings - Super Famicom
The SNES is my favourite console and this is one of my favourite games on the platform. Seeing a boxed and pretty mint looking copy when it was released in 1990 making this box nearly 33 years old!
Mappy - Famicom
Some people love cute characters like Mario. Sonic. Pokemon. To me it’s Mappy. This little pocket police mouse is my no 1 guy. This hot Nintendo tape is from 1984 making it nearly 40 years old!
Evening Meal - Hal Yamashita
Didn’t take too many pictures here as it was a bit high falootin’ but we decided to jump right in and try out Hal Yamashita. High level Japanese fusion food. Everything tasted incredible. Even simple dishes like a Japanese style omelette and the white rice were so flavourful!