Asakusa used to be the most popular entertainment and pleasure district in Tokyo. The surrounding area was badly damaged due to the war, and some of the businesses weren’t able to regain their former glory. However, that doesn’t mean that Asakusa is less charming compared to the other districts in Tokyo.
Asakusa is a lively place especially during festivals and the like. Being surrounded by many religious establishments like the Sensoji Temple, you can be assured there will always be a festival or event of some sort almost every season. One of which is the famous Sanja Matsuri that is dubbed as the largest and wildest among Tokyo’s “Three Great Shinto Festivals”.
For those who prefer to enjoy the nightlife in the city, feel free to visit these places and be captivated by the hidden charm that is uniquely found in Asakusa.
1. View the light up of famous sites in Asakusa
Asakusa is a thriving city during the day, and when night comes, the city comes to life with its vivid light illuminations. One of those places is the Sensoji Temple, the beautiful light illumination is truly a sight to behold, and one can’t help but admire it even from a distance.
2. Visit Japanese traditional retro bar “Kamiya Bar”
The Kamiya Bar is the oldest western style bar in Japan, and is considered as a legend. The company was established during the 1880 and the bar opened in 1912. Kamiya Bar is well known for their cocktail drink “Denki Bran”. Treat yourself and enjoy the sweet blend that is well sought by locals and tourists, only found at Kamiya Bar.
Kamiya Bar (神谷バー)
Address: 1 Chome-1-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.kamiya-bar.com/ (Japanese Only)
3. Chill at authentic Izakaya
Izakaya is local Japanese pubs. A place where you can dine and drink alcohol after a long day of work. Izakayas are very popular and people often go there to grab a bite and drink some alcohol before going back home.
The Edo-style cuisine is the signature dish of Sakurada. The food is quite delicious, and the act of grilling your own food gives you a sense of freedom and satisfaction. The interior design of Sakurada resembles an old Japanese house. A lively place to eat and enjoy the company of friends and acquaintances.
Address: 1 Chome-15-12 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.sakurada.tv/ (Japanese Only)
Sado no Sake to Sakana Daccha (佐渡の酒と肴 だっちゃ)
Enjoy delicious seafood while drinking a cup of your favorite sake. Their cuisines are focused on the dishes from Niigata Prefecture. They also have a wide selection of Japanese sake. Can get quite crowded during the night so try to head there as early as possible.
Address: 2 Chome-27-1 Nishiasakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://da-cha.net/ (Japanese Only)
4. Visit Japanese sake bar in Asakusa
Sake is a popular rice wine in Japan, and there are many places in Asakusa where you can enjoy this alcoholic drink.
Asakusa Ichimon Honten (浅草一文本店)
Ichimon Honten is a great place to eat traditional Japanese hot-pot. It is just a few minutes walk away from the Asakusa Station. Their most recommended item on their menu is the Edo Negima Nabe, and yes, this dish was very popular during the Edo period as well.
Negima Nabe is a hotpot dish of green onion and fat tuna. During the Edo period, cooling technology was not developed, so the tuna was soaked into soy sauce to preserve. They were throwing fat tuna away. This hot pot dish was thought to make use of those fat tuna.
Address: 3 Chome-12-6 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.asakusa-ichimon.com (Japanese Only)
5. Feel nostalgic atmosphere at Hoppy Dori
Hoppy Dori is a unique street where you’ll find bars standing by each other. The overall atmosphere is quite lively, and it creates a charm of its own. The name of the street was derived from the beverage “Hoppy” which only has 0.8% alcohol (it has a taste that is lighter than the average beer).
6. Visit authentic bar in Asakusa
Because Asakusa has been the downtown in Tokyo for a long time, there are many authentic bars scattered around the city. Check out these places and enjoy some of their recommended drinks.
Samboa is a classic example of an old fashioned whiskey bar. They have a wide selection of whiskey and their service is impeccable.
Address: 1 Chome-16-8 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.samboa.co.jp/shop/index.php?shop=3&lang=ja (Japanese Only)
Bar Somethin’ is a 5-minute walk from Asakusa Station and has a wide collection of drinks and cocktails. Take your time to relax and let the Jazz music that is playing in the background calm your mind.
Address: 2 Chome-19-1 Nishiasakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
7. Enjoy delicious Japanese beer at Asahi Beer
The Asahi Beer Hall is well known in Asakusa, and it is a very popular hang-out place for the locals and tourists alike. Here you’ll find several beer blends that is made by the popular brand Asahi. Great food and great beer awaits you at the Asahi Beer Hall.
Address: 1 Chome-23-1 Azumabashi, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
8. Enjoy delicious Sukiyaki dinner
Sukiyaki became a popular dish during the Edo era. Since Asakusa has developed as downtown in the Edo era, there are many established restaurants that has survived to this day. Here are some of the restaurants where you can enjoy this famous dish.
Yonekyu Honten (米久本店)
If you haven’t tried Sukiyaki before, why not visit Yonekyu Honten? It is one of the popular restaurants in Asakusa that serves sukiyaki. Though they don’t have much on their menu, the sukiyaki in itself tastes very good.
Address: 2 Chome-17-10 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Tatsumiya is another traditional restaurant in Asakusa and a good place to have sukiyaki. You can also enjoy their delicious Dojo-Nabe, another iconic dish from the Edo Period and famous in Asakusa. Although the staff cannot speak fluent English, communication is possible if you are patient enough.
Address: 1 Chome-33-5 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Website: https://www.kiwa-group.co.jp/restaurant/264/ (Japanese Only)
9. Beautiful night view of Sumida River and Tokyo Sky Tree
The Tokyo Sky Tree is one of the best places to visit when night time arrives in Asakusa. It gives you a scenic view of the Sumida River and the beautiful cityscape that is filled with light. There is also a night boat cruise that is operated only on special occasions (cherry blossom season, Christmas, and other special events).
10. Participate in “Asakusa Tourou Nagashi Festival”
The Tourou Nagashi Festival is a very popular summer festival in Tokyo. Hundreds of paper lanterns are lit and placed on the Sumida River. People write their wishes on their paper lanterns before they let it float on the river. It is said that if you placed a wish on those paper lanterns, there is a chance that your wish will be granted.
Website: http://e-asakusa.jp/event/3815 (Japanese Only)
All information in this article is as of March 2017
Thumbnail is from Flickr