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msjulz's Reviews ( Asakusa )

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  • Big Echo: Asakusa (Karaoke / Asakusa)
  • 2009/09/04
  • They have a very extensive selection of the popular singers -- Amuro Namie, Crystal Kay, Utada Hikaru, Hamasaki Ayumi. However, they did not have the Double song I wanted to sing. Otherwise, they are pretty solid, with the choice to sing in Tagalog or English, as well as other languages.

    The milk fruit drink I ordered wasn't very impressive, however. I didn't drink it until I was finished singing the song, and by then, the gel had separated into a thick layer floating above the watery milk. Fortunately, my friend ordered regular fruit juice, and hers was good.

    Sound proofing is good in general, although you can really hear the people in the next room if they started belting it out!
  • Ryokan Kamogawa Asakuda (Family Hotel Kamo... (Ryokan / Asakusa)
  • 2009/08/31
  • They do a wonderful job at this little ryokan.

    The absolute BEST part of our stay was the FREE breakfasts. Don't be fooled by the description of Toast and Coffee. They definitely go the extra mile. Breakfast was surprisingly refreshing and delicious.

    Served on English-style chinaware, our breakfast consisted of thick bread with jam and butter on the side, coffee with sugar and cream on the side, fruit juice (one day was orange juice, another it was apple juice), and a side dish (one day it was tamagoyaki with sweet rice inside; on day two it was a half banana and a korokke with a dollop of sauce on top).

    Our bedsheets were changed fresh each day and our room came with a flat screen liquid TV which included many channels.

    Staying at this ryokan, guests feel as if they are immersed into the culture. Our room came with minimal furniture: 2 futons on the tatami mat floor, a traditional low table and floor cushions. Also included with our room was fresh hot water each day to brew free green tea.

    When coming in, make sure to remember to remove your shoes and put on your slippers, so as not to tract dirt onto the delicate tatami mat floor.

    For a further traditional experience, you have the option to reserve a room without a bathroom.

    There are private showers and a private Japanese style bath available to any of the guests if they reserve this kind of room.

    However, the convenience factor was very important for my friend and I, and shampoo and rinse were provided for us in our bathroom.

    As with all the guests, we were also provided a face towel, body towel, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a yukata bathrobe and obi. We stayed in the largest room including a bathroom, which comfortably fit 2 of us.

    Words to the wise, if you get the bathroom included in your room, make sure you are small enough to fit in the bathroom (both my friend and I are petite), and are not claustrophobic. It may be a bit small for the average American. The toilet is a western-style toilet with a bidet wash, which made us feel so fresh and so clean, clean, afterwards.

    There was a slight mixup on the price when we first arrived, but the owners graciously fixed the issue promptly.

    There is a curfew, so if you are the type to stay out late, don't forget to let the front desk know that you will be out so that they can provide you a key.

    This is an ideally located ryokan if you are only planning on scoping out the Ueno and Asakusa areas. It is a 2 minute (literally!) walk to Sensouji temple and Nakamise street. And there are several karaoke bars and restaurants nearby, as well as a Denny's, 7-Eleven and a 24 hour convenience store.

    However, we had to make a transfer to get to Shinjuku. The Ginza line will be your best friend, also.
  • Sengoku Ramen: Asakusa (Ramen / Asakusa)
  • 2009/08/30
  • I came here with a friend. They have great prices for the very hungry. 800 yen gets you a huge bowl of ramen, so make sure you have a big appetite. My friend and I could only finish half of each of our own bowls, so it was a bit embarassing to leave without finishing our food.

    She got chashumen, but the meat was not of best quality. However, the yakiniku ramen I ordered was delicious. The meat was tender inside and bursting with marinated flavor on the outside. And the veggies in the soup complemented it well.

    If the chashumen was as good as the yakiniku, then Sengoku Ramen would have a rating of 5 stars, no doubt.

    For those of you who have limited Japanese, they do have a picture menu, but only a few items are displayed. And nobody spoke English when my friend and I went there, so make sure you have some knowledge of spoken Japanese.

    The waiter we had was extra friendly and went the extra mile to make sure we got what we wanted. My friend has an allergy to tree nuts, and the waiter definitely put us at ease.