What a day! Just when we thought it was awesome, we outdid ourselves. We started the day in Shibuya again (so much to explore!) and tried some Japanese pizza for lunch and were quite pleased. It didn’t have any cheese and it really reminded me of the Neopolitan pizza I had in Naples. Good job, Tokyo! We then got onto the Subway (as we are now TOTAL experts) and made our way to Asakusa. More attributed to our awesome timing of this trip, the Sanja Matsuri is all this weekend. The entire population of Asakusa turns out for a mini shrine festival celebrating a bountiful harvest & peace. We gathered in the streets to watch three different portable shrines carried on the backs of the worshippers down the streets toward the famous Asakusa shrine. More on that later…

Asakusa is about 30 mins from Shibuya and the streets are crazy, a completely different Tokyo flavor. There were gates at every corner that were composed of dozens of paper lamps hanging about three stories high. And the streets were little more than wide alleys with shops, houses and small apartment buildings lining either side. It’s located along the Sumida River and one relatively small bridge connects two sides of the city over it. We exited the train station and immediately followed the portable shrines up one side of the town and back to the bridge. There’s a really decent view of the city from this little red bridge. It was pretty damn awesome. Since we weren’t ready to head back to Shibuya yet, Brian decided to take us up one last alley-block to see if there was anything we missed.

Holy crap. There was stuff that we missed. It was as if we were hosting our own Travel Channel show. We rounded the corner and found ourselves in the middle of a mile-long street market complete with stalls, merchants and booths carrying everything from Monchichi dolls to bean pastries and chopsticks. (Yes, we bought all of these things) The best part, however, was the enormous Shrine that dominated the end of the alley. When I say enormous, I mean HUGE. Like how-did-they-build-that huge. And it only got better. We wandered from stall to stall; we bought goodies, ate snacks and made our way down to the end. The end had two huge demons presiding over a near-endless sea of food vendors. For real food vendors – food vendors selling fried octopus balls, whole salted fish on sticks and weirdo chicken innards grilled over charcoal. It was spectacular. And delicious. And we got to see it just ‘cuz Bri decided that we should walk one more block before getting back on the train. Awww yeah.

We ate and walked until we could not anymore and made it back to the Cerulean for our new, 9pm bedtime. How old are we?!

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