Clockwise from left: Gojyuunotou, Senjoji, walking farther away from Asakusa you can walk towards Sumidagawa River and get a view of the Tokyo Skytree and the inner streets in Asakusa.

It was my first time in Japan yet I wasn't remotely excited to visit the Asakusa District. I know, I know. 

Shoot me now. 


From Tokyo Narita International Airport, it took us at least three hours  to get to our hotel in Hanzomon. We were tired from the air x land travel combo but we had to rush, as in immediately after check-in, to The National Museum of Western Art in Ueno before it closes. It is that time of the month that entrance is free. Yes, Tokyo Cheapo will be proud.  

Travelers take note: Admission is free to the Permanent Collection of the museum every 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, it opens 9.30am and closes 5pm from Tues - Sun (it closes 8pm on Fridays). 

(That's rice ball for you hommies)
( ...but they can be in triangle form, too)

Since arriving, we haven't eaten anything and I had nothing but dreams of having my first meal in Japan to be perfect. For weeks I had a vision of a perfectly prepared bowl of ramen by an authentic kitchen master. With us rushing however, this dream wasn't meant to be. For my first meal, we headed to the nearest convenience store and grabbed a single piece of onigiri and a bottle of ginger ale to share.

Surprise. It was heaven. Seriously. 

If you happen to pass by any of the Sunkus branches and you have about Y300 to spare, trust us, the tofu skin onigiri is the bomb with the ginger ale drink... and it deserves a photo on this post. See the photo below, it is that glorious, golden triangle in the middle. After trying that out, every time we popped inside convenience stores, we try out their onigiri but nothing compares to this bomb though :(

Tofu Skin Onigiri is love.  This particular one more importantly.

Unlike the convenience stores we have in Manila, in Japan they don't have an area for you to sit and eat inside. It is uncommon for locals to eat while walking, too. Since we were so hungry, we just went outside and stood close to the store and had our fare. Make sure to dispose your trash accordingly as they are labeled so.

I'm not including my story of the museum visit on this post. I'm sorry  if you are expecting any reviews. I could live inside the museum if you must know. So yes, I am still recommending anyone to swing by the museum especially if you have Ueno on your list. There are a lot of things to do there and places to eat, too - but this goes with almost everywhere we've been in Japan anyway.


No escape

From Ueno we took the train to get to Asakusa. There's no escape for me it seems. One reason perhaps as to why I am not excited about Asakusa is: because it is in fact a touristy place, it is the mother of all mother of tourist places in Tokyo. I may have wanted to do the off the beaten path, the outskirts, the unknown, the offbeat places kind of traveling. But the inner nerd in me was screaming, "It is the freakin center of old Japan, woman! Tanga ka ba?" Ok, you win Asakusa, you win.

Although it is summer time in Japan, we happen to arrive when there is a tropical storm brewing from Kanto down to Kyushu. Temperamental weather is nothing new to us anyways. I actually like strolling in cold weather anyway and luckily no thunderstorm that night in Asakusa. Yey!

This was just a few steps away from the Senjoji.
With one whole day of walking on empty stomachs, it is just right to eat.. at one point. With the help from the nice ladies from the Asakusa Culture Tourist Info Center (building below), we were lead to a locally known ramen house (insert choir of angels here)! Food!!!

The inspo for this architectural building are stacked machiya houses. Google machiya house now. 

The lady who assisted us gave us a map and recommended three places where we can grab dinner. Here's the map:

1. Maguro Bito. This one is quite popular among travelers it seemed. It came highly recommended as researched by my sister. I heard sushi here is good too. Unfortunately, we didn't have the time to try it because we had to choose which among the three we should go to before the shops close and call it a night.

2. That thing she wrote in Japanese. 

3. Yoroiya. The place that made me cry and fell in love with yuzu (Japanese citron). My first bowl of ramen is one for the books. An English menu is available so don't worry. You do have a chance to select which among the varieties you want to try. 

I had mine with the plums... and I wasn't prepared with how sour it was. But just like eating spicy food, you just can't stop eating it even if it burns your tongue. It was sour but it was so good. So I finished mine to the last drop.

We spent atleast Y1800 for two bowls of ramen and a serving of gyoza. I would spend another RT plane tickets to have this bowl of ramen again. That good. 

I wish I can tell you exactly what is the name of this ramen. I will share with you this photo instead. 

Yoroiya is between Nakamise Dori and Metoro Dori streets. When walking around the area, try to look up and you should see a larger than life statue sitting atop the resto. 


First day

Asakusa was nothing but nice to me. Thank you Asakusa for my amazing first day in Japan and your amazing ramen. 

Lesson learned? I take bad photos and I suck for pre-judging Asakusa. Asakusa wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, gloomy weather or not. If I had more time, I don't mind going for my seconds, at all.

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