One of the first excursions our family went on since being in Japan was to Asakusa in Tokyo. It was our first time taking the hour and a half-ish train ride from Yokota Air Base (actually from Fussa station, which is the closest train station to the base) into Tokyo.
Asakusa is well-known for its Buddhist temple, the Senso-ji, and the small market of souvenir shops leading up to it. The Senso-ji is the oldest temple in Tokyo. It's also the perfect place to pick up gifts for friends and family while visiting beautiful temple grounds.
Here we are at the entrance of the temple grounds at Asakusa. I'm pretty sure the lady to the right of us is taking a picture of Clara or Bennett, or maybe all of us :) Those kids, with their blue eyes, get a lot of attention out on the streets here in Japan!
Below are pictures of the long row of shops leading up to the shrine:
We had fun shopping and admiring all of the souvenirs. They had everything from kokeshi dolls, to samurai swords, to keychains with your name in kanji, to kimonos, ninja costumes, and toys. We picked up a couple of t-shirts, a yukata (a cotton kimono) for Clara, and a ninja costume for Will. We could have spent a lot more money than we did!
Once you make it through the shops, you'll come to a giant tori (gate) with kongorikishi (guardians of the Buddha) guarding the temple. I think my boys did a pretty good imitation of the kogorikishi :) Also, it was a pretty hot, humid, and sweaty day, can you tell???
And here are a few shots of the shrine and pagoda, which sits next to it.
Visiting Asakusa was a great intro to traveling around Japan! And with that, I'll leave you with a couple pictures of the new costumes these two little cuties scored in Asakusa . . .
Directions to Asakusa:
From west of Tokyo:
Take the JR Ome line towards Tachikawa and get off at Tachikawa and switch to the Chuo line towards Tokyo and get off at Kanda. At Kanda, get on the Ginza subway line and take it towards Asakusa, which is the last stop and where you will get off.