Explore Asakusa to Experience the Sights, Sounds, and Tastes | FAST JAPAN
Nakamise Street
Asakusa

Explore Asakusa to Experience the Sights, Sounds, and Tastes

Visit Sensoji Temple, eat like a sumo wrestler, and wear a traditional kimono. While walking along Nakamise Street there are many shops with traditional sweets. Eating while walking is half the fun.

Asakusa has been at the heart of Tokyo’s history and culture since the Edo period, which is why it’s such an important sight-seeing location. Since there are many hotels in the area, Asakusa is often the first spot tourist visit in Tokyo. Visitors can go to Asakusa by Ginza Subway Line and Asakusa Subway Line.

 

#1. Asakusa Sensoji Temple

Asakusa Sensoji Temple

Sensoji Temple is the oldest and the most popular Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. Around 30 million visitors from all over Japan and abroad visit the temple every year. The temple is known to bring good luck, happiness, and good relationships. It is said that the Asakusa Kannon deity is enshrined here and has the ability to bestow benefits on earth. Sadly, the original main building and serene Japanese garden were destroyed during the war, so those buildings and the garden were rebuilt. They are very impressive and on the left side, the original Asakusa Shrine of 1649 still stands.

Asakusa Sensoji Temple

The huge lanterns hanging in front of Kaminari Gate (雷門) are very famous. Sensoji temple is a Buddhist temple, but Kaminari gate’s statues of the Buddhist deities, Tenryū and Kinryū are joined by those of Shinto gods, Fūjin (God of Wind) and Raijin (God of Thunder) as well. It is said that Fūjin and Raijin guard against destruction from natural disasters such as storm, fire and flood. The gate was destroyed by fire and the present gate was reconstructed thanks to contributions by Kounosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic.
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Sensoji Temple

Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito ward, Tokyo

Access: 5 minute walk from Asakusa Station

Hours: 9:30 AM – 7:00 PM
*Shrine lights up from sunset-11:00pm

Phone: 03-3842-0181

Website: Asakusa Sensoji Temple

 

#2. Nakamise Street

Nakamise Street

Beyond Kaminari gate there is Nakamise-dori, a 250m long shopping street offering a wide variety of ideal souvenir as gifts, there is everything from folding fans, rice crackers, and ningyoyaki (traditional cakes filled with sweet adzuki-beans paste). With its colorful shops, Nakamise Street makes for great photographs, especially around sunset when the soft, golden light adds magic to the atmosphere.
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Nakamsie Street

Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito ward, Tokyo

Access: 5 minute walk from Asakusa Station

Hours: 9:30 AM – 7:00 PM
*Shrine lights up from sunset 11:00pm

Phone: 03-3842-0181

Website: Nakamise Street

 

#3. Experience Japanese Culture

omikuji

In the Sensoji Temple area, visitors can learn how to prepare matcha for the tea ceremony, or try their hand at shodō (brush calligraphy). There are also kimonos to rent and many tourists like to combine wearing kimono with a jinrikisha (Japanese rickshaw) ride around the Sensoji Temple. For 100 yen visitors can buy an omikuji (おみくじ/paper fortune). If your omikuji is lucky, keep it; if it’s unfavorable, tie it on a pole or tree to ensure bad luck won’t follow you home! If you’re really superstitious, purify your spirit with incense smoke and water at the dragon-headed fountain by the temple entrance or pray for good fortune at the temple steps; but don’t forget to drop a 5 yen coin in the collection box!

 

#4. Eat Like a Sumo Wrestler

Eat Like a Sumo Wrestler
Photo Credit:両国 割烹 吉葉

The Sensoji Temple area has many great ramen, soba or udon noodle shops. However, Asakusa has a long history with Sumo wrestling, so it’s a good place to try chanko nabe (ちゃんこ鍋/a delicious hot pot of fish, chicken, seasonal vegetables and tofu, much favored by sumo wrestlers for its high protein content). In fact, one of the most famous chanko nabe restaurants is Yoshiba (吉葉), which used to be a place where sumo wrestlers would practice.
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Yoshiba (吉葉)

Address: 2-14-5 Yokoami, Sumida ward, Tokyo

Access: 15 minute walk from Asakusa Station

Hours:
11:30 Am – 2:00 PM (Lunch)
5:00 AM – 10:00 PM (Dinner)

Phone: 03-3623-4480

Website: Kappou Yoshiba

 

#5. Seasonal Events

Festival in Asakusa

Special events happen all year round at Sensoji Temple. In particular, events such as Hozuki (Chinese lantern plant), Market in mid-July, and the Hagoita (wooden paddle for Hanetsuki, a traditional Japanese badminton-like game), and Market in mid-December are famous. The biggest festival is the annual Sanja Matsuri festival in May. The festival features about one hundred portable shrines in which Shinto deities are placed and paraded down the streets to bestow fortune to the local businesses and residents.

Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival

Sumida Park is one of the top spots to view the cherry blossoms blooming in early April.The Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival is held on the last Saturday of July every year.It is the oldest fireworks festival and over a million people attend.

 

#6. Take in a Panoramic View

Tokyo Skytree

Travelers can’t miss the Tokyo Skytree, currently the world’s highest tower. The 450 meters high Observation Deck offers a breathtaking 360° panoramic view of Asakusa, Tokyo, and beyond.

Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center

But if Tokyo Skytree is too scary or expensive, the view from the observation floor of the Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center might be better. This distinctive 8 story building, designed by a renowned architect, Kengo Kuma, can be found between Asakusa Station and the Kaminarimon gate, offering a wonderful view of the temple and surrounding area… and it’s free of charge!
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Tokyo Skytree

Address: 4-5-6 Higashi-Ueno, Taito ward, Tokyo

Access: 5 minute walk from Oshiage Station

Hours: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Phone: 03-3842-5566

Website: Tokyo Skytree

 

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Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center 

Address: 2-18-9 Kaminarimon, Taitou ward, Tokyo

Access: 5 minute walk from Asakusa Station

Hours: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Phone: 03-3842-5566

Website: Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center

 

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