Wednesday, 6th February 2019
Raining all day today, as forecast, and Faye working a long day (12 noon until 9.30 p.m.) so a home alone day for me though heaven knows it’s Faye not me who should be having time off to relax. Lazy day in the apartment but caught up with things and started to write a journal (which turned into this blog) so I would have at least some chance of remembering where I had been and what I had done. Lots of snacking going on whilst writing.
Ichidagaki shinsu – persimmons, which are harvested, peeled and hung from strings and left in an airy location to dry and occasionally massaged until the dried sugar comes to the surface and turns them white. They are rather like dried apricots but larger and much sweeter.
Ichigo daifuku – a spring time dessert of mochi (which is pounded rice – the same stuff we had the first day in the savoury pancake) stuffed with sweet red bean paste and a strawberry. It pretty much has the appearance and texture of play dough but tastes really good (not that I’ve ever eaten play dough which may or may not taste good too).
Mini Snickers bars advertised as “for adults”, because of their bitter dark chocolate not any alcohol content, pretty much like Yorkie bars which used to be advertised as “for men”.
Thursday, 7th February 2019
Two trains to Asakusa, a district probably reminiscent of a long ago Tokyo with a maze of winding streets with shops selling all sorts of weird and wonderful goods along with bars and restaurants. Up until now I had spotted a few very dignified older ladies wearing beautiful winter kimonos (in darker, heavier and more muted fabrics than the summer versions) but hadn’t wanted to take a photograph without permission and couldn’t really ask permission. In Asakusa however, despite the chilly weather, brightly coloured summer kimonos were in abundance. This area is much more tourist orientated and I suspect the kimono wearers were tourists too, having spotted kimono hire shops and also as most of the kimono wearing ladies were sporting selfie sticks and posing.
Next on to Kaminarimon (the gate leading to Sensoji temple) and the temple and gardens, complete with buddha and five storey pagoda.
Now on to more frivolous things, such as the chopsticks and fan shop.
Incredibly strong and fit rickshaw pullers. Apparently many, but perhaps not all, are aspiring professional athletes.
Not even sure what this is, possibly preserved fish of some kind with seaweed. I did try both, and lived to blog another day, but not sure “I could eat a whole one”.
… and now for the most important part of the day – late lunch – and today’s choice is ten-don (tempura on top of rice). Said rice is sticky with some sort of sauce similar to tare sauce and tempura is lightly battered and deep fried fish and vegetables. We had shrimp, squid and some sort of white fish and aubergine. Very lovely but the size of the shrimp, squid and fish probably amounted to the equivalent of three fish suppers. Just as well a huge percentage of the places we visited in Tokyo, especially shrines and parks, necessitated climbing an inordinate number of steps and lots and lots of walking.
Now, more sightseeing.
Ueno and Ueno Park was our next port of call. Again, quite a few steps to go up to enter but that was good considering the amount of calories we must have put away with the tempura. We were very pleasantly surprised to find the Peony Garden was open.
Yet another shrine at Ueno Park with hand cleansing, pagodas and ema.
…and last but not least, this very futuristic police box we spotted as we left the Park.