Matsuri in Asakusa

Day 6 · Asakusa, Tokyo Scroll down

On the last Saturday of July the yukatas got out of the closets and headed to a summer festival in Asakusa. Without knowing it, we did the same (without the yukatas, though) and celebrated our first matsuri.

Tokyo Sky Tree on the back.

Tokyo Sky Tree on the back.

Walking from Ueno to Asakusa.

Walking from Ueno to Asakusa.

untitled-00750
untitled-00752
Mo' parking space. The Japanese really know how to use height to their advantage.

Mo’ parking space. The Japanese really know how to use height to their advantage.

Fried food aisle of a supermarket, quite the selection.

Fried food aisle of a supermarket, quite the selection.

After lunch we headed to Ueno and walked to Asakusa. On our way we saw the little streets of Ueno transitioning to Asakusa, and managed to take a peek inside a full Japanese supermarket. The variety and the organization are tremendous. There are many ready to eat food that is delicious and cheap and not many western products.

We saw a couple of serene temples and cemeteries on the way.

We saw a couple of serene temples and cemeteries on the way.

untitled-00765
untitled-00767
Golden statue of a Kappa.

Golden statue of a Kappa.

We also passed by Kappabashi-dori, a street known for housing loads of kitchenware stores. Most are generic, but some are dedicated to only towels, others to knives, for example.

We also passed by Kappabashi-dori, a street known for housing loads of kitchenware stores. Most are generic, but some are dedicated to only towels, others to knives, for example.

Started to stumble on more and more street food stalls — always a good sign of a party about to happen.

We started to stumble on more and more street food stalls — always a good sign of a party about to happen.

A delicious ball of meat, onions and spices, all mashed together and deep fried.

A delicious ball of meat, onions and spices, all mashed together and deep fried.

We made a quick pitstop to eat and sit down for a bit when we saw what was coming our way.

We made a quick pitstop to eat and sit down for a bit when we saw what was coming our way.

Friends chatted while sipping on some cold Asahi beer.

Friends chatted while sipping on some cold Asahi beer.

Stores were closing down, only food stalls kept their doors open through the night.

Stores were closing down, only food stalls kept their doors open through the night.

Male and female versions of a yukata (summer kimono, lighter and fresher) are assumedly distinct.

Male and female versions of a yukata (summer kimono, lighter and fresher) are assumedly distinct.

untitled-00797

Asakusa was definitely magical, specially when you arrive to the Senso-ji. The shrines, the street food and the locals, the vast majority dressed with yukatas (the summer kimono). We wandered a lot through the tiny streets and couldn’t help but eat and try almost everything.

Entrance to Senso-ji.

Entrance to Senso-ji.

Nakamise-dori, the street leading to the temple.

Nakamise-dori, the street leading to the temple.

untitled-00811
untitled-00809
Groups of friends flock the stalls buying little sweets and drinks.

Groups of friends flock the stalls buying little sweets and drinks.

You can tell some couples are official.

You can tell some couples are official.

Others...not so much.

Others…not so much.

untitled-00816
Little side streets where lots of eating and drinking was going on.

Little side streets where lots of eating and drinking was going on.

untitled-00852

As the sun started to go down, we noticed everybody was sitting down on the floor, on towels, brought from home, and were clearly waiting for something to happen: the matsuri fireworks! Completely by chance, we witnessed one of the most beautiful summer festivals in Tokyo.

untitled-00875
Taking it all in.

untitled-00863
untitled-00840
untitled-00824
Purifying the soul with incense smoke.

Purifying the soul with incense smoke.

untitled-00831
Five-story pagoda near Senso-ji temple.

Five-story pagoda near Senso-ji temple.

Buddha statuette in a side shrine.

Buddha statuette in a side shrine.

untitled-00833
Masses gathered around Senso-ji grounds throughout the day.

Masses gathered around Senso-ji grounds throughout the day.

Getting some okonomiyaki done.

Getting some okonomiyaki done.

Miniature okonomiyaki; we've had better, but it was good.

Miniature okonomiyaki; we’ve had better, but it was good.

The second after, it started pouring down on everybody and we had to depend on a restaurant guy who gave us an umbrella so we could walk to the station, saving at least the cameras from getting wet, because our clothes were a lost cause.

Time to sit down and wait for the show.

Time to sit down and wait for the show.

The fireworks are simple, but people seem to enjoy themselves beyond just that.

The fireworks are simple, but people seem to enjoy themselves beyond just that.

Senso-ji is even more beautiful at night.

Senso-ji is even more beautiful at night.

untitled-00922

Unforgettable.

Spread the love

Leave your thoughts

%d bloggers like this: