Japan
Taito

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.

202 travelers at this place:

  • Day341

    Sanja Festival

    May 18, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Da dieses Wochenende das Sanja Festival (das bekannteste Shinto-Fest Tokios) am Asakusa (sprich: Asaksa) Schrein in dem gleichnamigen Viertel stattfindet, geht es mit der Metro dorthin. Nachdem man einmal einen groben Überblick der Stadt gewonnen und das Metronetz gesehen hat, wirkt es auch gar nicht mehr so kompliziert. An die meisten Orte kommen wir bisher ohne großen Aufwand mit ein- oder maximal zweimaligem Umsteigen. Das Fest lockt anscheinend sowohl viele Locals als auch Touristen an und wir bekommen einen etwas besseren Eindruck von dichten Menschenmassen, was trotzdem noch nicht schlimm ist. Es gibt unzählige Essenstände mit japanischen (Schnell-) Gerichten, die bei uns weniger bekannt sind wie z. B. eine Art herzhaft und teils mit Nudeln gefüllter, dicker Pfannkuchen. Wir gönnen uns in einem kleinen Matcha-Laden einen Snack aus Stärkewürfeln mit viel Matcha-Pulver (soweit wir verstehen, was wir da essen). Es ist nicht nur ein Klischee, das Tee und insb. Matcha hier eine etwas größere Rolle spielen als bei uns. Vielleicht können wir mehr dazu irgendwann auch in einer klassischen Teezeremonie herausfinden. Zurück zum Fest...

    In der Zuschauermenge werden Gassen gebildet, um die Prozessionen von mobilen Schreinen durchzulassen, die von einer Gruppe von Männern und Frauen auf den Schultern getragen und teils unter einer Art Schlachtruf immer wieder in die Höhe gehalten werden. Es ist ein erstaunlicher Anblick, da die Schreine nicht gerade klein und leicht sind und die geschätzten 40-50 Personen die sie tragen gleichzeitig motiviert und freudig, aber auch ein wenig leidend aussehen. Die Schreine hüpfen so quasi durch die Gegend und weitere Teammitglieder, die wohl auch als Ersatz dienen, schieben die Leute zum Teil noch an oder vor allem seitlich wieder in die Mitte des Weges zurück. Es ist also ein großes Kuddelmuddel.

    Glücklich, dass wir gerade zu dieser Zeit in der Stadt waren, machen wir uns wieder auf den Weg und fahren ein kleines Stück weiter bzw. zurück nach Ueno. Hier gibt es einen großen Park, in dem man die Metropole um sich herum sehr gut vergessen kann, und diverse Museen. Wir entscheiden uns für das Tokyo National Museum mit vielen kulturellen Artefakten und Informationen. Erstaunlicherweise ist es heute sogar kostenlos, wobei auch sonst der Eintritt mit ca. 6 EUR nicht sehr hoch ist. Dafür kann man sich hier bei Interesse einen halben Tag oder länger aufhalten. Vor dem Museum haben wir eine witzige Entdeckung gemacht, hier gibt es Schlösser für Sonnen- bzw. Regenschirme. Wir konzentrieren uns auf den japanischen Teil, in dem es sowohl Kunst als auch kulturell oder religiös (meist buddhistisch) bedeutende Gegenstände zu bestaunen gibt. Besonders spannend finden wir einige unterschiedliche Schmuckstücke der japanischen Schwertschmiedekunst sowieso traditionelle Kleidung und Rüstung der Samurai. Auch Bilder in typischen Stilen sowie Kaligraphie gibt es reichlich zu sehen. Für Kunst- und Kulturliebhaber definitiv eine Empfehlung.

    Vor dem Museum sind heute viele Essensstände aufgebaut und so gönnen wir uns nach der kulturellen Bildung noch ein Bierchen und einen Snack in Form eines mit roten Bohnen gefüllten Teiges vergleichbar mit einem Hefekloß.
    Read more

  • Day8

    Asakusa and Yanaka

    September 8, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    After discovering some of 'new' Tokyo we decided to see older, more traditional parts.
    In the morning we took a train to Asakusa where we straight away found old fashioned streets and much smaller buildings than the skyscrapers we were surrounded by the day before. The oldest and one of the most significant temples in Tokyo, Senso Ji, can also be found here which is known for its big red lanterns. While we were there we met a Japanese man who spoke a bit of Hungarian and had fried mashed potato sandwiches. In a little shop we bought a postcard with an old painting of the temple and we also bought some souvenir chopsticks from a 100 yen shop which had lots of beautiful bowls and other Japanese cooking stuff.
    Later we walked over to Yanaka, another famously traditional qurater full of temples and shrines. On the way there we saw an amazing drum performance in the street. After a picnic in a Japanese garden style park with some real cheap streetfood (as lack of English signs we accidently but happily ended up with more fried mashed potato), we visited Nezu Shrine. Here there is a long tunnel of red gates which were great for taking photos.
    We headed home not too late with aching feet ready for a rest and to get safely inside before the typhoon arrived!...
    Read more

  • Day83

    Bueno Ueno - our last day in Japan

    June 1, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Do you sometimes have trouble keeping up with dates and such things? I certainly do.
    Our time in Japan has come to an end. Three wonderful weeks filled with beautiful moments, amazing landscapes and interesting cultural experiences.
    For our last stop we returned to Tokyo as there were still lots of neighbourhoods we hadn't seen yet. We decided to stay in a cute hostel up North, in Arakawa, as it is close to Asakusa and Akihabara, the areas we planned to visit.
    Well, today turned out differently.
    Waking up hungry as we had had only minimal dinner yesterday, our first thought was getting breakfast. Not an easy task with someone picky and undecided as me, so we end up walking around in our area, getting on a community bus to explore more and just before we start getting angry due to our empty stomachs, we make it to Ueno station. Lots of bakeries have plenty to offer and we grab a few danishs and rolls and head to the park to eat. *satisfiedsigh*
    We've already seen some of Asakusa but got sidetracked and are off the route now. So what? Our plan certainly isn't set in stone and hence we simply go with the flow and explore Ueno park. The fact that we bearly take notice of all the beautiful shrines and temples might be an indicator for our temple saturation... shrine 126? Ah, ok. A bit sad, to be honest, as I try to imagine it was my first day in Japan and just how delighted I would have been then. We regain appreciation when walking past an Azalean exhibition. Bonsai trees so full of blossoms, you can barely see the tree. They almost look fake, but they aren't.
    Continuing our stroll, we walk past outdoor art installations in the park (the national art museum is right around the corner), tiny little alleys with beautiful art galleries, a craft brewery (couldn't go past it without trying the beer flight) and finally reach Yanesen, an old merchant district of the city that still features many shops and street food stalls. The area is full of people shopping, taking pictures and walking around and we join them. One stall catches our interest in particular. An old guy is playing with spinning toys, an ancient Japanese game, as we learned during the cultural festival a few weeks back. Delighted by us watching, he even teaches us some tricks! Few words and gestures help us understand each other and soon we've fot the spin. How I love these random encounters.
    Afterwards, we continue to Akihabara, the electronic quarter. Instead of electronics, I'm taken aback a bit by the many girls dressed up as sexy (ish) maids trying to draw customers into the cafés they work for. Weird.
    Our tired feet then demand a break. Filled with all these different impressions we decide to head back to the hostel before meeting friends for dinner. Yes, we've made friends :-). We met Nico and Verena from Munich on Yakushima island and realised that we were travelling through Japan on similar itineraries and timeframes. Hence, we had made plans to spend the last evening together, heading to Shinjuku once again. Couldn't have asked for a better end to our trip than joining the izakaya culture in a 100yen beer bar with great company surrounded by locals in the heart of the city.
    Japan, you certainly exceeded my expectations. Thank you!
    Read more

  • Day16

    Tokyo

    November 29, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 8 °C

    We dock in Tokyo at 1 pm so a sea morning sees us take advantage of the spa and pool and solarium for general relaxation and reading. We try the main dining room for lunch and no vegetarian options but the head waiter produces a delicious Singapore noodles. Very helpful! The Tokyo trio turns out to be fantastic with a bus ride to Tokyo a look at the Gonzaga crossing , a stop at the imperial palace for a photo ( bit of wasted time) but then a 2 hr free time at Asukasaki a market , restaurant, old town temple place. It is fabulously interesting. It’s freezing and we find a small cozy udon noodle restaurant filled with locals and we really enjoy our tempura and udon meal set. A wander to pick up some treats and we find an owl cafe and go on however we don’t have enough cash for the entry but we get a good look at baby owls on the counter and the whole place looks amazing. So happy with our Tokyo tour. We see the lights of Tokyo from the bus - a great night view. We get back in time for some free drinks 🍹!Read more

  • Day44

    Tokyo arrival

    April 27, 2017 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Made it. If I have one useful piece of information about the Tokyo subway to pass on it's this. It's not like London where trains are tied to lines, so unless you actively change train you will stay on, say, the Northern line. Nope. That confused me and I haven't seen it written anywhere. Luckily a station guard (literally) pushed me onto a train and it went where I needed, through a number of Keikyu Main Line stations to Asakusa Line stations.

    Then it's a short and very pleasant walk from Asukasa station to my hostel. It hadn't looked much on the Google live view thing, but the area has a really nice feel. I'm gonna be ok here 😥

    Just by way of contrast with last week's thunderbox, I now have a heated toilet seat! Which reminds me of the toilets at Hanida airport. They play the sound of running water; to encourage or to mask I know not!

    I'm not exaggerating when I say there must be 300 small restaurants and cafes within 5 minutes walk of where I'm staying. All rather bewildering, but I've found a shop that sells milk and got a hot pork dumpling at the same time, so immediate problems solved!
    Read more

  • Day52

    Samurai & Ninja Safari

    May 5, 2017 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Yes, really!

    I was offered a free trip this morning by 2 guys drumming up custom for their ... erm... theatrical sightseeing trip around Asakusa. It started off in a normal way, picking out the local sights...then it all went panto!

    There's a wicked ninja warrior creeping round the streets, a brave but slightly dim Samurai, a moon-walking Geisha and other incidental characters played by innocent bystanders. All wrapped up with plenty of slapstick on and off the bus. A complete hoot, and free because they had TV cameras on board and wanted a larger crowd. As it was there were only 7. Brilliant fun 😂Read more

  • Day6

    Tokyo Tales

    July 4, 2017 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Back on the Bullet Train from Kyoto to the nation’s capital, Tokyo. From the train I caught a glimpse of Mount Fuji shrouded in mist. There was no snow or cherry blossom - it could easily have been Ben Lomond.

    Well, if I thought the other Japanese cities were busy, Tokyo is in a league if its own. What a huge city, teeming with people everywhere. A city of contrasts too, with noise, neon lights, huge concrete and steel buildings, as well as quieter areas with old wooden houses, temples and shrines. A myriad of train lines and subways - and yet everything seems to run on time. People seem smartly dressed, politely waiting in line even during rush hour.

    In my two and a half days here I have seen only a fraction of what is on offer. My hotel is located in the popular Asakusa area, and is adjacent to the magnificent Senso-ji temple which is thronged with people day and night. I visited Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower - the only structure to beat it is Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. It was an exhilarating ride to the top and great views, although a bit overcast. I had a pleasant morning sail down the river to the traditional garden of Hama Rikyu Onshi Teien. I enjoyed more green tea in a lovely tea house in the centre of the small lake. (Their green tea is an acquired taste, Anne - thick and foamy like pea soup).

    I had an interesting free tour of the gargantuan Gotham City style Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building including its impressive Assembly Hall. I had Veritable Vera the Volunteer showing me round (on my own), and she kept laughing and saying how she wanted to see me in a skirt (I assume she meant kilt).

    Most of the rest of the time was spent wandering around Shinjunku - the modern heart of Tokyo. You can find anything you need here (and plenty you don't). There are some crazy things. They have what's known as Maid Cafes where girls in costumes serve food and drink in a cute manner with their voices screeching in high pitched tones. A girl in a candy striped short maid’s outfit and feather duster tried to tempt me in, but I just told her, ‘sorry, hen, but I've already got a cleaner’. There are Butler Cafes too, where buff guys try to tempt the ladies in. (Now, I don't have a butler!). There are even Cat Cafes, offering the chance to spend quality time with up to 50 pussies without the commitment of ownership. The nation is devoted to cartoons, which are prevalent everywhere, and there are even museums dedicated to the culture of Anime and Manga.

    There is a whole range of accommodation available from luxury hotels to capsule hostels. They also have what are known as Love Hotels. Instead of having to spend the whole night, you can rent a room for a ‘Rest Period’. Like Elsie in the song ‘Cabaret’ they rented by the hour. Due to the humidity I was fair wabbit, and felt like going in for a wee lie doon masel!

    There are literally thousands of restaurants and you really are spoiled for choice.

    Well, packing tonight for the long journey home tomorrow (although not as long as the journey to get here). Still pleased that I managed to travel overland (and sea) from Scotland to Japan by public transport - and no flights. I have been on a variety of other transport however - local train, Eurostar, Trans Siberian, tram, bus, subway, marshrutka, ferry, trolley bus and the Bullet Train, as well as Shanks’s pony! It's been the experience of a lifetime, and an adventure I will always treasure. Thanks for following my rambles - it's been great fun!
    Read more

  • Day57

    Leaving Tokyo

    May 10, 2017 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Last hours in Tokyo and the inevitable has happened. My budget has been blown and I've ended up in McDonald's - albeit having a teriyaki burger 😉

    I had a few hours spare this morning so took a final wander around the area, down some untrodden (by me) streets. One street caters for all things culinary, including at least one shop that sells, and run classes in making), fake food (big business since displays are outside every eatery). Well that was so intriguing and the shop so alluring I went in. Big mistake. I've been seduced by a segment of satsuma. Life really is full of surprises.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Taitō-ku, Taito-ku, Taito, 台東区

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now