DAYS SPENT: 1
OVERALL THOUGHTS: I was surprised to find a lot of people gathered around the temples -- adults and students alike (did the students have a school field trip? We went to Asakusa on a weekday morning, when they should have been in school... I think?). The temple area has quite the different architecture and greenery, which is noticeable once you walk into the neighbouring areas.
Nakamise Shopping Street
This is an area with a TON of shops -- so it was super crowded. The shops were mainly selling snack items, souvenirs, and other items like chopsticks, umbrellas, swords, sandals. It was nice to see all the variety. I bought a few things while there.
A cute trinket at one of the shops.
The front of Nakamise Shopping Street.
Seeing this temple made me think back to watching anime. There was a large box at the front of the entrance where you could throw coins in and make a prayer. There was also a spot where you could do the omikuji (paper fortune) for 100 yen. With the omikuji you shake a container around (all the while with a question in mind) until a numbered stick comes out. You match the number on the stick to the number on the drawer and you pull out the drawer to receive your paper fortune. I did both activities. Not telling you what I prayed for nor the question I asked ;)
Group of girls making a prayer in front of the temple.
The container and stick for the omikuji.
I got the number 13.
My fortune. Woot! I'm so happy.
If you want to read the text better, click on it.
If you get a bad fortune, you can tie it to this rack
and pray that the bad fortune will be taken away.
There was also a spot with dragon statues spouting water and small pot-shaped ladles. There was a sign above indicating some kind of ritual. Looking at the people crowded around the area (most likely a mix of tourists and people who knew what they were doing), I wasn't sure what was the proper ritual. I still tried it anyway.
The place with the water ritual.
I just had to take a picture of a shrine dedicated to the tanuki (raccoon dog).
This is a huge department store. I guess it would be comparable to a Wal-Mart in North America.
There was a 500 yen admission, and the museum itself is really small. But it was so worth it. It featured many different kinds of drums and some other instruments from around the world. The really cool thing is that many of the drums were playable! I went all over the museum, playing as many instruments as I could.
As we were about to leave, a couple other people visited the museum and they started doing a taiko drum piece! Really cool!
From this museum, I discovered a couple more instruments that were most likely used in the music for Mushi-Shi (the angklung and the gendèr).
A stand selling ice cream burger. If I wasn't partially
lactose-intolerant, I'd have tried it!
I think this is a shrine for pigeons.
On the left side of the stone is some musical score.
I'd like to try playing it, lol.
This pic is taken at the entrance of Sensoji Temple, looking outward.
Another place with the water ritual.
DAYS SPENT: 0.5
OVERALL THOUGHTS: I didn't get to see much of Meguro, so I can't really give any overall thoughts. I visited Meguro mainly for two things.
Meguro Parasitological Museum
This is supposedly the world's only museum dedicated to parasites. It was really neat. All the different parasites (they were dead, in case you were wondering) were in jars, and there were some enlarged molds for others. The only unfortunate thing is that a lot of the text was in Japanese, though there were a few signs in English. I would totally go back there again :)
This is a takoyaki stand located right across from the Meguro Parasitological Museum. I was curious if we'd be able to eat after visiting the museum. We were. :) I'll go into more detail about this place in my Japan Eats blog entry (link will be added once I post it).
Nice view from a bridge.
Not sure if you can see this well, but inside this supermarket close to the entrance is a
section where you can buy some KFC packaged meals. At least, it looked like it to me.
DAYS SPENT: 1
OVERALL THOUGHTS: Just like with Meguro, we traveled out to Odaiba mainly for one thing. I did have other things on my list (like a takoyaki museum and Sega's Joypolis), but I had a feeling we would miss them.
I guess this would be THE museum to check out for Gundam fans. I haven't exposed myself to much of the Gundam series so this didn't do much for me. It was still pretty interesting to see all the gundam models and history.
Just so you know, the Gundam shopping area and the display area of a ton of Gundam figures do not require any admission to enter. Entry into the museum portion, though, was 1200 yen.
Shot of the gundam figure display. You can see this area without paying any admission.
Another shot of the gundam figure display.
And another. (This figure looks pretty cool!)
And another. That pose just called for a camera shot, lol.
This is inside the museum. If you pay about 3,000 yen, up to three people can stand
at the cockpit area and they'll take a 2D and 3D picture of you from above.
It kinda makes you look like you're manning the gundam, lol.
Here you can choose a gundam character and get your picture taken with him or her.
I got my picture taken with Heero Yuy (I've only been exposed to Gundam Wing, so...).
Make sure to bring a camera so you can take a picture! lol.
A shot of this light show thing. It started off kinda dull and boring,
but after about a minute, it got really interesting!
Another shot of the light show.
Some character / scene sketches.
A bunch of gundam models.
This is a maid cafe (yay, I got to check one out!). I'll go into more detail in my Japan Eats blog entry (link will be added once I post it).
Uh oh... a gundam has come to take over the world! This was outside Diver City.
Front shot of the gundam. It is quite tall.
I just think this looks cool!
That's it for Part 1. Thanks for reading! The next places I'll blog about are quite the nerdy spots: Akihabara and Ikebukuro. :)
If you have any questions or comments about any of these places I visited, feel free to say something in the comments box! :)