As you head towards Sensoji Temple, you will be walking along the Nakamise Dori Shopping Street. What does that mean? It means prepare to go on a shopping spree! Well, if you prefer to taste the local specialties then that is great as well, and you won’t be disappointed. Although this two places are considered as the main attractions in Asakusa, there are still many places that that will definitely make an impression.
Asakusa used to be one of the biggest pleasure districts in Japan. After the surrounding area had been destroyed by the past war, thriving new business establishments opened to take their place. In order to fully enjoy Asakusa, it is best explored with your feet because there are many shops in the area that sells a wide range of products.
These are the 10 best things to do in Asakusa that will make your trip more memorable!
1. Visit Sensoji Temple
Sensoji temple is considered as the oldest temple in Tokyo and one of the most important landmarks of Asakusa. With that said, it is highly recommended that you add it to your itinerary if you are planning to go to Asakusa in the future. It is also best to visit the temple during festivals and other seasonal events.
Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa Taito-ku
Website: http://www.senso-ji.jp/ (Japanese Only)
2. Enjoy shopping and street food in Nakamise Dori Shopping Street
Without a doubt, Nakamise Dori Shopping Street is one of the oldest shopping streets in Tokyo. Walking this shopping street will lead you to the Sensoji Temple and is the best place to look for souvenirs to bring back home. You’ll also find many tourists (especially during the weekends) at the various shops and cafe in Nakamise Dori.
Address: Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
3. Enjoy delicious Japanese sweets at authentic Japanese cafe
There are many traditional Japanese cafe that serve delicious Japanese sweets such as matcha, red bean paste, mochi, anmitsu, etc. If you’re dying to taste these traditional snacks, stopping by at Umezono might be a great idea.
Umezono was established in 1954 and serve many kinds of traditional Japanese sweets. The shop is easily recognizable because of their benches and beautiful red paper umbrellas that are displayed at the shop’s entrance. Their awa zenzai, mochi dango, and other popular sweets have captured the heart of the locals and tourists alike. If you like to eat sweets, then this is one shop that you can’t afford to miss!
Address: 1-31-12 Asakusa Taito Tokyo
Website: http://www.asakusa-umezono.co.jp (Japanese Only)
4. Play at Hanayashiki, the oldest amusement park in Japan
Hanayashiki in Asakusa is Japan’s oldest amusement park. Founded in 1853, this small theme park has maximized the area by installing rides that overlap each other. These rides may not impress the adults, but the kids will certainly enjoy it.
Address: Asakusa 2-28-1, Taito-ku, Tokyo
5. Walk along Sumida River to Oshiage
Taking a leisure stroll towards Oshiage along the Sumida River allows you to relax and take a breather. The route becomes especially lively when spring arrives. The cherry blossoms that are in full bloom is a beautiful sight to behold.
6. Enjoy delicious Japanese beer at Asahi Beer head office
Just a 3-minute walk from the Asakusa subway station (Exit A5 and A4) La Flamme d’Or located at the Asahi HQ is also a popular landmark in Tokyo. If you see a sculpture that symbolizes a golden flame on top of the building, then you had found the place. A great place to lounge and drink beer during the afternoons. Asahi Brewery is the biggest brewery in Japan. La Flamme d’Or allows you to enjoy fresh beer that is delivered directly from their factory every day.
Address: 1-23-1 Azumabashi Sumida Tokyo
7. Shop at the world’s greatest kitchen wholesale district “Kappabashi”
Kappabashi is famous for selling every cooking utensil that you can think of. From pots, pans, ladles, stoves, tables, chairs, etc. you will find them all here! If you love cooking, then it would be a great idea to browse some of their wares.
Address: 1 Chome-1-1 Matsugaya Taito-ku Tokyo
8. Dive into authentic Japanese culture at Izakayas in Hoppi-Dori
Japanese Izakayas (Japanese Pubs) are lively places that serve food and alcoholic beverages. You’ll find them lined up on the street of Hoppi-Dori. These storefront pubs is a gathering place of those who love to enjoy affordable food and drinks after a long day at work.
Address: 2 Chome-3-19 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
9. Try eating Tokyo’s local food Dojo-Nabe at “Komagata Dozeu”
Komagata Dozeu has been around for more than 200 years and is well known for their prized Dojo-Nabe. This dish is made up of dojo (loaches) cooked in a hot pot which is an Edo Era delicacy. A bit of patience is required until the hotpot comes to a boil before you enjoy this unique local delicacy.
Address: Taito-ku, Tokyo Komagata 1-7-12
10. Explore the nostalgic shopping street “Asakusa Underground Shopping Street”
Yes, believe it or not, there is an underground shopping street in Asakusa, and one of their entrances are found near the EKIMISE shopping building. Upon entering you’ll find standing soba noodle shops and Izakayas. Take a left turn and browse the interesting shops that are lined up along the way of the underground shopping street. Unknown to many, the Asakusa Underground Shopping Street is the oldest shopping street that exist in Japan.