Asakusa

The day started lazily, albeit early. Magnus woke at 7.30 and took himself off to the bathroom, quietly peeing and disposing of his “night-time pants” in the correct bin of the three available. There is a near incomprehensible waste system here, to do with whether or not waste is combustible or not, and whether recyclables are clean or not, but Magnus seem to have mastered it.

We fell short of an early departure, and left after midday. The transit time from Tama to central Tokyo is both a good gauge for the sheer size of this metropolis, and a crazy endeavour with two young kids. But we got to Asakusa as planned, albeit late, and after a little wander around, enquired in one of the many karaoke establishments – tired kids, confined space, loud music, what could go wrong?! It was just what we (adults) needed to shake off the long journey. We belted out Wonderwall, some Aretha (RIP) and some Lynyrd Skynyrd, before setting off for a rather more majestic cultural experience – the famous Sensō-ji Buddhist temple with its dazzlingly illuminated pagoda and huge lanterns. The surrounding shopping streets are touristic but enjoyable to peruse, and big M was so proud of himself when we bought him a little kimono-style outfit to wear for the temple trip.

Currently we’re sitting in Gon Pachi, a laid back little joint in Asasuka, which seems to be much more touristic than our previous area. Jazz is playing, which it seems to across a lot of Tokyo. The chef is busily preparing sticks of meat and fish on an open grill while the waiter fixes Lucy a homemade ginger highball (recommended by several reviewers of the restaurant).

Update: the restaurant is incredible. Highly recommended. The beef sticks in particular are mouth watering to even think about days later, and the tempura was crisp and succulent. Magnus loved his rice and chicken dish. The ambiance is a perfect balance of culinary energy and peaceful sanctuary. The waiting staff are incredibly attentive and understood the needs of our kids very well, with special cutlery and drinks served without our asking. And the price is right for the quality of food and service.