Monday, May 12

Tokyo for Golden Week: Day 2 Chapter 2: Sensoji no Mawari

A city bus decked out in Holiday Style (two Japanese flags) for Golden Week.
What's that I see in the background...

Once we'd fueled up at Ye Olde Starbuckes, we ventured into Sensoji Land. That is, Sensoji and its environs. Lucky for us, as it was Kids' Day, there was a small festival being held. Add that to GoldenWeek (well, Kids' Day is part of Golden Week...) and you have the makings of a rather festive atmosphere.

Kids on a float can't concentrate with their friends' puppy around.

Melissa and Joseph make carrying a mikoshi look like a piece of cake. Showoffs.

That's what I thought, Joseph.
Osshai! Osshai!

The Thunder God graces a can of ricey, peanutty snacks.

Oh, look it's the Thunder God himself! Oh, wait. It's just Joseph.

The gods of Thunder and Wind head up Kaminarimon at the entrance to Sensoji. If you were paying attention, you spotted this famous image among my pictures from Kenninji in Kyoto.

Oh, Melissa, your facial expressions confuse and bewilder me. Had you truly been born a god, oh the chaos that would have ensued among all earthlings.

Nitteru no?

A funny thing happened on the way to the temple. As I was getting up from behind the board here, a Japanese lady came up and pointed to me and her camera. I assumed she wanted me to take a picture of her in the frame. No... Joseph? No. She wanted to take a picture of me making the very face you see here. So I did, to the best of my ability. And oh the hilarity that ensued. I was very pleased to have caused a couple of Japanese stranger ladies such raucous laughter.

And then they got in the frame.

Can I interest you in some takoyaki?

That's balls of dough with little chunks of octopus in them. Among other things. Very tasty in some circles.

Proud moms and other sundry spectators.

In addition to the kids in the float, there was apparently also a dance performed by these little cutesters. We got there for the follow-up group picture. But missed that.

Organizing the troops.

So famous, it's even on a drink machine.

And the drink machine is in turn made to blend in with its traditional surroundings.

Yon Chome.

Out of curiosity, we thought we'd take a poke around the "'Geisha' to iu machi." Rumor had it there was a geisha district behind Sensoji so we thought we'd check it out. No geisha nor any indication that geisha might at any point be about, even after we were gone, was to be found. Either we were in the wrong section, or the geisha scene is a sorry business in Asakusa.

On our stroll, feeling frisky, Joseph dons a jauntily cocked squash (?) flower hat.

... here I come, baby!

Sorobans! Get your sorobans here!

Is this for the blind to push? Because how would they know where to find it?

Mr. Donut decked out.

Organizing rickshaw rides.

Outside Kaminarimon

Why sir, that's a very interesting hat you've got on there.
A little cutesy for your bad-ass look don't you think?
And it's rather warm for fur.

Off they go.

Tuna people.

What better a place to stop for a quick and cheap lunch than kaitenzushi ("conveyor belt" sushi)?
So, stop we did. The line was out the door when we go there, affording me time to run to the corner and buy a windchime I've been trying to find for evar. But thanks to the quickness with which Japanese folk tend to eat sushi, we were seated at the bar in no time.

The thing about kaitenzushi is that once you've gotten used to a place (ie, sushi at Uny), it's difficult to really do a good job anywhere else. The menu is different, the chefs (not like it matters, these guys were on the ball, for the most part). Anyway, there were only a few offerings that really floated my boat, so I didn't have a very big mix. But it was good and fun and we ate.

Stacks of plates, down the row...

The old ladies next to us really put us to shame. Within about 10 minutes they'd put away twice as many plates as it took us at least a half hour to eat. All business.

At this particular restaurant, when you've finished, and call for the check, a waiter comes and holds a scanner over your stack of plates. It reads the all sensors on the bottom of each, and registers your total on a plastic card, about the size of a credit card and thrice as thick. This is your check. The man at the register scans it, and you pay him what the scanner reads. Pretty nifty, eh?

And thus ends Chapter 2 in the Day Two Tales.

Next stop: Shibuya at Night!


Blogger Melissa said...

Why is kaiten-zushi constantly at the foreground of such ground-shattering technological advancements?

In totally unrelated news...Look what I found:

4:57 AM

Blogger Abbey said...

Doh! I can't watch it from Japan!!! Grrrrrr! Don't they know I'm American? I pledge allegiance to the flag... My country 'tis of thee... Come on, help a sister out!

6:31 AM

Blogger M.KATE said...

wonderful!! always learn something new whnever i hop over here :)

4:31 PM

Blogger Abbey said...

Thanks, girl! I'm glad someone (besides Melissa, of course! ^_< ) appreciates it...

8:46 PM

Blogger Todd said...

A. The directions to your comments are in Japanese or at least not English.

2. The walk button is for pimps, not blind folks. If a blind person wanted to cross the road he could kindly ask a pimp to press the button for him.

III. Is it considered unladylike to eat sushi slowly?

1:16 AM


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