Japanese snacks inevitably look too good to be eaten. They come in beautifully decorated boxes or in lovely colourful wrappers, all of which are tasteful and delicate. The snacks can be sweet (such as Omochi) or savoury (eg. rice crackers or seaweed crackers). They are rather expensive, but do look very beautiful and can be given away as gifts to your friends back home.
Apart from these snacks, I also enjoyed the grilled cuttlefish on sticks-OYSHI-des neh!!
Fondest memory: One of my fondest memories was visiting the basements of large supermarkets in Tokyo and sampling the food before buying some of them.
When getting of at Asakusa to go to Kaminari-mon, you might as well look behind you and see this funny looking building. Like no other place in the world Tokyo has some of the boldest architectures. And a good example is the Asahi building with what is supposed to resemble a golden flame on top of it. Japanese gave it the name "Golden Crap" because of its weird shape, and quite frankly speaking they are somehow right.
The building was designed by the famous French designer Philippe Starck.
Favorite thing: If you want to experience a Tokyo crush, take a trip to Asakusa and try and walk up the Nakamise towards Sensoji Temple on the weekend. It was wall to wall people when I visited in April 2006. The street is lined with souvenir shops on the way to the Sensoji Temple. Perhaps this would be a more memorable place to shop to pick up those goodies for those back home than a mall somewhere?
Favorite thing: The Kaminarimon Gate, with it's huge hanging lantern, sits at the southern end of Nakamise, the shopping street leading to the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. I am told that it is traditional for parents to bring their daughters here on Girls' Day.
asakusa temple area is a great way of getting in the mood of traditional japan with buddhist temples and a busy traditional style market street:))see more in my travelogue on asakusa:))
Unique Qualities: buddhist temple areas differ markedly from those of shinto shrines. you gotta visit the busy and lively asakusa's buddhist temples and the serene and peaceful meiji shrine ( travelogue coming soon) in harajuku to really feel the fundamental differences in experience of these two religious/philosophic traditions that are harmonically co-existing in japan today.
Fondest memory: Look what I've managed to discover! Yes, this very quaint and very Japanese-looking school here in Asakusa.
Favorite thing: Views of the river banks of the Sumidagawa River, close of the Asakusa subway station. The photo at the right illustrates the never-ending barrage of concrete buildings that fills Tokyo.