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Asakusa () is the center of Tokyo's shitamachi (literally "low city"), one of Tokyo's districts, where an atmosphere of the Tokyo of past decades survives.

Asakusa's main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries.

Asakusa can easily be explored on foot. Alternatively, you can consider a guided tour on a rickshaw (jinrikisha, literally "man powered vehicle"). A 30 minute tour for two persons costs around 9000 yen. Shorter and longer courses are also available.

For many centuries, Asakusa used to be Tokyo's leading entertainment district. During the Edo Period (1603-1867), when the district was still located outside the city limits, Asakusa was the site of kabuki theaters and a large red light district. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, modern types of entertainment, including movie theaters, set foot in Asakusa.

However, large parts of Asakusa were destroyed in the air raids of World War Two. And while the area around the rebuilt Sensoji has regained its former popularity after the war, the same cannot be said for Asakusa's entertainment district. The opening of the 634 meter tall Tokyo Skytree, a twenty minute walk across the Sumida River from Asakusa, has led to an increase of tourists recently.

Temples and Shrines

Kaminarimon (Kaminari Gate)

Hours: Always open
Admission: Free
Kaminarimon is the first of two large entrance gates leading to Sensoji Temple. First built more than 1000 years ago, it is the symbol of Asakusa. The Nakamise shopping street leads from Kaminarimon to the temple grounds.

Sensoji Temple

Hours: 6:00 to 17:00 (from 6:30 October to March)
Admission: Free
Sensoji ("Senso" is an alternative reading for Asakusa and "ji" means temple) is Tokyo's most famous and popular temple. Built in the 7th century, it is also one of its oldest, although the current buildings are postwar reconstructions.

Asakusa Shrine

Hours: Always open
Admission: Free
Asakusa Shrine, also known as Sanja-sama, was built during the Edo Period and survived the air raids of 1945. The shrine's festival, the Sanja Matsuri, is one of Tokyo's most spectacular and popular. It is held every year on a weekend (Friday to Sunday) in mid May.

Dempoin Temple

Not usually open to the public
Dempoin is a temple just next to Sensoji, known for its beautiful garden. Unfortunately, the temple and garden are not open to the public. Visiting the garden by appointment, as it used to be possible, cannot be done anymore, either.

Shopping

Nakamise Shopping Street

Hours depend on the individual shops; typically daily from 9:00 to 18:00
The Nakamise shopping street stretches over approximately 250 meters from Kaminarimon to the main grounds of Sensoji Temple. It is lined by more than 50 shops, which offer local specialties and the usual array of tourist souvenirs.

Shin-Nakamise Shopping Street

Hours depend on the individual shops; typically daily from 10:00 to 19:00.
Shin-Nakamise or "New Nakamise" runs perpendicular to the Nakamise Shopping Street. It is a covered shopping arcade lined by various shops and restaurants.

Kappabashi Shopping Street

Hours: Most shops open from 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: Many shops are closed on Sundays and national holidays
Kappabashi is an almost one kilometer long street lined by shops catering to restaurant businesses. Items on sale include tableware, kitchen utensils and appliances, sample food, furniture, signs, lanterns and uniforms.

Marugoto Nippon

Hours: 10:00 to 20:00 (3rd floor until 21:00)
Restaurant floor: 11:00 to 23:00
Marugoto Nippon is a large four-story building that features made-in-Japan products from all across the country. Food products from the different prefectures can be found on the first floor while lifestyle goods can be found on the second. The third floor is an event space, and restaurants are found on the fourth floor. There is also a hotel above the shopping floors.

Rox Department Store

Shops: Daily 10:30 to 21:00 (supermarket is open 24 hours)
Restaurants: Daily 11:00 to 22:00
Rox is a shopping and entertainment complex consisting of a main building (Rox) and three annex buildings (Rox2G, Rox3 and Rox Dome). Many shops sell fashion for ladies and kids. There is a 24h supermarket in the basement.

Tobu Asakusa Station & Matsuya Department Store

Matsuya department store is open daily from 10:00 to 20:00
Tobu Asakusa Station is the terminal station of Tobu trains heading into the suburbs and prefectures north of Tokyo, including trains to Nikko. The station building also houses a Matsuya department store that spans eight floors.

Asakusa Underground Street

Hours depend on the individual shops
The Asakusa Underground Street (Asakusa Chikagai) is one of the oldest underground shopping streets in Japan. The short passageway connects the Tobu Asakusa Station to the Shin Nakamise Shopping Street and contains about 20 shops and restaurants. The arcade looks like it has remained unchanged since the Showa Period (1926-1989), and visitors may feel like they walked into a throwback alleyway.

Other Attractions

Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center

Hours: 9:00 to 20:00 (observation deck until 22:00)
Closed: No closing days
The Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center was newly opened in 2012, adding diversity to the streets of Asakusa with its interesting architectural design. The eight story building offers a tourist information desk in multiple languages, free wifi connectivity, a cafe, and an observation deck which provides good views looking onto Sensoji Temple and the Nakamise Shopping Street.

Sumida Park

Hours: Always open
Admission: Free
This riverside park stretches along both sides of Sumida River for several hundred meters. In spring it becomes a popular cherry blossom viewing spot, while on the last Saturday of July it becomes the site of the Sumida River Firework.

Rokku Entertainment District

Opening hours depend on the individual businesses
Rokku used to be Tokyo's leading entertainment district before the war, hosting Japan's first cinema and more. However, the district has not regained its former popularity after the war. Today, Rokku offers attractions such as rakugo theaters, cinemas and pachinko parlors.

Hanayashiki Amusement Park

Hours: 10:00 to 18:00 (longer hours during holidays)
Admission: 1000 yen plus separate fees for rides
Originally opened as a flower park, Hanayashiki has a history of more than 150 years. Located just a few steps from Sensoji, the miniature amusement park offers numerous attractions, including a small Ferris wheel, roller coaster, carousel and Space Shot.

Asahi Beer Tower

Restaurants open daily from 11:30 to 22:00
The Asahi Beer Tower and Asahi Super Dry Hall with its characteristic Flamme d'Or were, completed in 1989 and host the headquarters of Asahi Breweries. Furthermore, several restaurants can be found in the complex. Behind both the Beer Tower and the Super Dry Hall is the Asahi Craftmanship Brewery. The restaurant and brewery offers diners decently priced lunches as well as Asahi craft beer on tap.

Taikokan (Drum Museum)

Hours: 10:00 to 17:00
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays, New Year and Obon
Admission: 500 yen
Drums from around the world, including Japanese taiko drums, are exhibited in this small museum. Visitors can play several of the drums. The museum is located in a floor above the Miyamoto Unosuke Nishi Asakusa store, which sells Japanese drums and festival goods.

Dining

Kamiya Bar

Hours: 11:30 to 22:00 (last order at 21:30)
Closed: Tuesdays
Kamiya Bar is one of Japan's oldest bars, with a history reaching back to 1880. It was founded by Kamiya Denbe, one of the first wine producers in Japan, who also invented denki bran, a type of brandy concoction, which is still served at the Kamiya Bar. The bar has three stories, and the one on street level is the most popular. There is also a window store that sells souvenir bottles of denki bran.

Umezono

Hours: 10:00 to 19:00
Closed: Some Wednesdays
Umezono is a traditional Japanese sweets shop that started in 1854. Their menu contains classics like anmitsu and oshiruko in addition to seasonal favorites like shaved ice (kakigori). The shop also has a window store that sells yokan, dorayaki and other desserts to go.

Suzukien Nanaya Gelato

Hours: 10:00 to 17:00
Closed: Third Wednesday of the month
Asakusa Suzukien Nanaya Gelato is a collaboration between Suzukien, a green tea speciality shop, and Nanaya Gelato, a gelato shop. The store claims to have the richest and most intense green tea (matcha) gelato in the world. The popular shop offers about fourteen gelato flavors including seven matcha ones.

Asakusa Kagetsudo

Hours: 9:00 until sold out
Asakusa Kagetsudo is a melon-pan store and restaurant that has been in business since 1945. Melon-pan is a sweet baked bread with a top that resembles the outer layer of a cantaloupe melon. Kagetsudo is most famous for their jumbo melon-pan which is best eaten warm, but also sells variations of their melon-pan that come with ice cream fillings. Japanese desserts, as well as savoury foods like soba noodles are also sold at the restaurant.

Tempura

Hours depend on shops; typically daily from 11:30 to 20:00
There are a number of tempura shops in Asakusa, offering delicious deep fried seafood and vegetables. The area flourished in the Edo Period as a tempura location thanks to the availability of seafood products from nearby Tokyo Bay. The more well-known tempura restaurants include Daikokuya, San Sada and Owariya.

Unagi

Hours depend on shops; typically 11:30 to 13:30 and 17:30 to 19:30
There are also a handful of established unagi-ya (freshwater eel restaurants) in the area with histories of at least a hundred years. Unagi, or freshwater eel, is relatively expensive with prices starting at 2000 yen for lunch and more for dinner. Well known unagi-ya in Asakusa include Irokawa, Hatsuogawa and Maekawa.

Getting there and around

Asakusa is served by the Ginza Subway Line, Asakusa Subway Line, Tsukuba Express and Tobu Railways. It can also be accessed by the Tokyo Water Bus.

From Tokyo Station

Take the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station (2 minutes, 140 yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen).

From Shinjuku Station

Take the orange JR Chuo Line to Kanda Station (10 minutes, 170 yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen).

Orientation in Tokyo

Hotels around Tokyo

Top rated in Asakusa
Budget:
    • Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa
      Budget-friendly
      Ideally set in Tokyo, Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa offers air-conditioned rooms, a shared lounge and free WiFi. The property is around 400 metres from Asakusa Public Hall, 500 metres from Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center and 600 metres from Sogenji Temple. The property is close to popular attractions like Kinryu Park, Hozomon Gate and Honpo-ji Temple. Popular points of interest near the capsule hotel include Asakusa ROX Shopping Center, Drum Museum and Kappabashi-dori Shopping Street. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 18 km from Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa.
      View on Booking.com
      9.5Booking.com
    • Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo
      Budget-friendly
      Conveniently situated in the Taito district of Tokyo, Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo is located 60 metres from Komagatado, 500 metres from Kaminarimon Gate Senso-ji and 500 metres from Ekimise Asakusa. With a shared lounge, the 1-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen, and luggage storage for guests. The hostel offers a terrace. Popular points of interest near Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo include Hozomon Gate, Chiisanagarasunohonno Museum and World Bags and Luggage Museum. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 17 km from the accommodation.
      View on Booking.com
      9.4Booking.com
    • cyashitsu ryokan asakusa
      Mid-range
      Attractively located in Tokyo, cyashitsu ryokan asakusa features air-conditioned rooms, a bar, free WiFi and a shared lounge. Boasting a terrace, this property is situated a short distance from Asakusa Fujiasama Shrine, Nitenmon Gate and Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center. The accommodation offers a concierge service and luggage storage space for guests. At the ryokan, rooms are equipped with a wardrobe. Guests at cyashitsu ryokan asakusa can enjoy an Asian breakfast. At the accommodation guests are welcome to take advantage of a hot tub. Popular points of interest near cyashitsu ryokan asakusa include Honryuin Matsuchiyama Shoden, Hozomon Gate and Great Tokyo Air Raid Memorial Monument. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 18 km from the ryokan.
      View on Booking.com
      9.3Booking.com
    • Hotel Gracery Asakusa
      Luxury
      800 metres from Sensoji Temple, Hotel Gracery Asakusa provides a 4-star accommodation in the Taito district of Tokyo. The property is located 1.7 km from Tokyo Skytree and 1.8 km from Edo Tokyo Museum. The property is 2 km from Ryogoku Kokugikan National Sumo Stadium and 5 km from Marunouchi Building. All units in the hotel are equipped with a kettle. The rooms come with a private bathroom with a bath. At Hotel Gracery Asakusa the rooms are equipped with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. Staff speak English and Japanese at the reception. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 30 km from Hotel Gracery Asakusa.
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      9.2Booking.com
    • B:CONTE Asakusa
      Mid-range
      Only a 5-minute walk from Asakusa Subway Station and Tawaramachi Subway Station, B:CONTE Asakusa offers modern accommodations with a kitchen and an in-room launderette. Free Wi-Fi is available at the entire property and Japanese/English-speaking concierge service is available. Senso-ji Temple is a 3-minute walk away. The air-conditioned rooms feature a flat-screen TV with a DVD player and ironing facilities. The kitchen comes with a microwave, a fridge and a stove. Kitchenware is provided as well, and the en suite bathroom comes with a shower room. Free-use bicycles are available for guests to tour the area and dry cleaning services are offered at the concierge. An air purifier and trouser press can be rented as well. French and Italian dishes are served at Daimasu Bar. Asakusa B:CONTE is a 10-minute train ride from Tokyo Sky Tree and Ryogoku Sumo Hall. JR Ueno and Akihabara Train Stations are both a 5-minute train ride away.
      View on Booking.com
      9.2Booking.com
    • KAIKA TOKYO by THE SHARE HOTELS
      Mid-range
      Ideally located in the Sumida Ward district of Tokyo, KAIKA TOKYO by THE SHARE HOTELS is set 100 metres from Tokyo Origami Museum, 600 metres from Komagatado and 800 metres from Chiisanagarasunohonno Museum. With a bar, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The hotel has family rooms. All rooms in the hotel are fitted with a kettle. All guest rooms at KAIKA TOKYO by THE SHARE HOTELS come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Continental and ? la carte breakfast options are available every morning at the accommodation. Popular points of interest near KAIKA TOKYO by THE SHARE HOTELS include Sumida Riverside Hall, Tokyo Metropolitan Memorial Hall and Bekko Museum. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 17 km from the hotel.
      View on Booking.com
      9.2Booking.com
    • Asakusa Kokono Club Hotel
      Mid-range
      Conveniently located in the centre of Tokyo, Asakusa Kokono Club Hotel offers air-conditioned rooms, a garden and a terrace. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi. The hotel has family rooms. At the hotel, all rooms have a desk. All guest rooms will provide guests with a fridge. Guests at Asakusa Kokono Club Hotel can enjoy an American or an Asian breakfast. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center, Hozomon Gate and Asakusa ROX Shopping Center. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 18 km from Asakusa Kokono Club Hotel.
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      9.1Booking.com
    • Richmond Hotel Premier Asakusa International
      Mid-range
      Open from December 2015, Richmond Hotel Premier Asakusa International is situated within a 1-minute walk from Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station. The property features a 24-hour front desk and offers free WiFi access in all areas. The hotel is situated a 8-minute walk away from Asakusa Train Station, which offers access to the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line and Tobu Line train routes. Guests can enjoy sightseeing and shopping in the area. Sensoji Temple is only 300 metres away and the iconic Kaminarimon Thunder Gate and Nakamise-Dori Street are both within a 6-minutes walk from the hotel. The property offers luggage storage. In addition, guests will find laundry and dry cleaning facilities at an extra cost, as well as a trouser press. Drink vending machines are on site. Richmond Hotel Premier Asakusa International features 2 meeting rooms. All guest rooms feature air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, Simmons mattresses, an iron, safety box and desk. Electric kettles and refrigerators are also installed. The en suite bathroom features a bath and shower. Free toiletries including toothbrushes, a hairdryer and slippers are provided. Several restaurants and fast-food stores are located within a 5-minute walk from the property.
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      9.0Booking.com
    • Onyado Nono Asakusa Natural Hot Spring
      Luxury
      Situated conveniently in the Taito district of Tokyo, Onyado Nono Asakusa Natural Hot Spring is set 300 metres from Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center, 400 metres from Asakusa Public Hall and 500 metres from Asakusa ROX Shopping Center. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking is available on site. The units come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a desk. Featuring a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries, rooms at the hotel also have a city view. Onyado Nono Asakusa offers a buffet or Asian breakfast. At the accommodation guests are welcome to take advantage of a hot spring bath and a sauna. Popular points of interest near Onyado Nono Asakusa Natural Hot Spring include Kinryu Park, Kaminarimon Gate Senso-ji and Nitenmon Gate. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 18 km from the hotel.
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      9.0Booking.com
    • Khaosan Tokyo Origami
      Budget-friendly
      Located in central Asakusa, Khaosan Tokyo Origami is a 5-minute walk from iconic Kaminari-mon Gate and Senso-ji Temple. Open from October 2014, this hostel offers dorm beds and Japanese-style private rooms, while hosting various events on site. Free WiFi is available in all areas. The hostel has a shared lounge offering complimentary drinks and panoramic city views. Guests can socialise with other guests at the gallery space, which holds cultural events and crafts workshops. Luggage storage, laundry facilities are also available on site. Rooms are all soundproof and come with air conditioning, heating and bed linens. Toilets and bathrooms are shared, and free toiletries are offered. Tokyo Origami Khaosan is a 5-minute walk from Asakusafs Nakamise shopping street. No meals are served. Guests can prepare their own meals at the common kitchen.
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      9.0Booking.com
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