Monday, October 7, 2013

TOKYO / Day Three / Asakusa & Kappabashi

Our first stop on day three wasn't Asakusa Temple but the ACE World Bags & Luggage Museum, a funny little exhibit of suitcases and bags from all over the world. The extensive personal collection of late company founder Ryusaku Shinkawa, we happened on it by chance on our way to the temple. Admission is free and the museum itself is located on the seventh floor of their corporate office, and its "viewing room" one floor up has a nice view of Taito ward.

Tokyo Skytree

After our brief stop, we continued onwards to Asakusa Temple. Most definitely a tourist trap, but worth checking out nonetheless. I recommend you go much earlier in the day if you want to avoid the crowds.

These guys had the most tanned and well-defined legs I've seen.. comes with the job I guess, when you're hauling two or three passengers at a time, all day long in the summer heat
Joy Luck Club, Japan?
Another bike, another perfect backdrop

Just a few blocks away is Kappabashi-dori (aka "Kitchen Town"), a street of stores dedicated to selling restaurant-related goods. Sandwich boards, seating, kitchenware, utensils.. and what I think is the most fun thing to see here - plastic display food! If you've ever been to Japan, you'll know that many of its restaurants have their menus reproduced in plastic and laid out in a display case. Some of these wax/silicone replicas are better than others, and I found that they range anywhere from pasty and unappetizing to nearly indiscernible from the real thing. They're all still very impressive, and understandably, they don't come cheap. Check out this site for more info (can someone please buy me that fried rice iPhone case?!) - you can even get a custom order mailed to you if your heart desires. And if you're curious and/or just as fascinated by this concept as I am, look up the process on Youtube.

They legitimately had everything, miniature and to-scale. I picked up a saltine cracker, a banana slice, and later, a piece of sashimi. 
All SO REAL-LOOKING. Therefore, obsessed.

I was really, really tempted to buy this piece of fake bacon (fakon?) - it looked so real I could almost smell its smokey goodness
Someone's strange collection of gnomes, if you peer closely
Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo
ABAB (Another Bike Another Background)
Vending machine liquor store... swag?
Sigh. ABAB
I spy two cool gals being dorky
Accidental man-on-bike capture

Day three part two next.

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