Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Home-cooked Korean cuisine and bar [Kantaro] / 手作り韓国料理&酒場 「韓太郎」

About a month before our nephew was moving to Tokyo, he and my mother-in-law were in town to find an apartment before starting work. After all those preliminaries were done, it was lunch time and we decided on a Korean place in Ikebukuro called [Kantaro].


My mother-in-law coming out of the restaurant.


Starting off with some beer before the meal.


Can't go wrong with samgyeopsal!


And the samgyetang is quite delicious too.


Me and my nephew Ryo / 僕と甥っ子の涼くん

Bon Appetit!


Friday, January 27, 2017

Asakuka Seven Lucky Gods of Fortune Pilgrimage / 浅草七福神巡り

It's been almost a year now since my wife and I along with our friends Yukio and Reiko went on the Asakusa Seven Lucky Gods of Fortune Pilgrimage. This consists of going to nine different shrines starting at Asakusa Shrine and ending at Sensoji Temple. The pilgrimage should take about 3 to 4 hours.


Before getting started, I just had to share this. An early urinal.

神社巡りを始まる前にこれが珍しいからシェアします。 男性用のトイレだ。

Our starting point would be here at Asakusa Jinja. The Lucky God of Fortune that resides here would be Ebisu, God of fishers and merchants.


Komainu / 狛犬

Hand Purification Basin / 手水舎

Hondo / 本堂

A few of the shrines along the pilgrimage we had already been to and had received their seals before but for the ones we didn't, we added them to our seal notebooks.


As we were walking to our next destination, I had a fine view of the Tokyo Sky Tree.


For fans of Japanese literature, we passed by a memorial to Shotaro Ikenami.


The next shrine on the pilgrimage was Matsuchiyama Shoten Honryuin, home to Bishamonten-sama, God of Warriors.


Hand Purification Basin / 手水舎

Hondo / 本堂

This was a shrine we had previously visited so we did not get a new shrine seal here.


Our third stop was Imado Jinja, home to Fukurokuju-sama, God of Wealth and Happiness.


Prayer boards / 絵馬

Hondo / 本堂

As with Gotokuji in Setagawa Ward, it has been suggested that Imado Jinja was where the Maneki Neko (the Beckoning Cat) originated.


Shirahige Bridge / 白鬚橋

The Sumida River / 隅田川

This isn't part of the pilgrimage but I thought they look pretty interesting.


This shrine was a bit out of the way, it is the Ishihama Jinja, home to Jurojin-sama, God of Longevity.


Ishihama Jinja / 石浜神社

Koshintzuka / 庚申塚

Hand Purification Basin / 手水舎

Prayer boards / 絵馬

Ishihama Jinja Seal / 石浜神社御朱印

Next stop, Fudoin, home to Hotei-sama, God of Abundance and Good Health.


A rather small shrine along the pilgrimage.


Fudoin Seal / 不動院の御朱印

Another long hike to the next shrine, the Yoshiwara Jinja, home to Benzaiten-sama, Goddess of Knowledge, Art and Beauty.


We are a little more than half-way through our pilgrimage. The next shrine will be Otori Jinja. Also home to Jurojin, God of Longevity.


The torii to Otori Jinja / 鳳神社の鳥居

Hand Purification Basin / 手水舎

Hondo / 本堂

After our visit to Otori Jinja, we went out for lunch to a pasta place called Carubo (which I have featured in a previous post).


Our pilgrimage has brought us to Kappabashi, known as a market street for restaurants where you can find almost anything you need to start your own, including those plastic foods which look so real.


Did somebody order a stack of pancakes?


Or how about that for a burger?


Do you think they sell knives there?


Our next to last shrine on the pilgrimage - Yasaki Inari Jinja, home to Fukurokuju, God of Happiness, Wealth and Longevity.


Hondo / 本堂

Hand Purification Basin / 手水舎

And we returned to Sensoji completing the Asakusa Gods of Lucky Fortune Pilgrimage. The only thing left to do is go out for a couple of drinks and maybe for a few snacks as well.


Cheers to ourselves for completing the pilgrimage.


And some snacks to go with the drink.


So ended our day. It felt like a great accomplishment completing the pilgrimage. And it was great walk as well.