Translated by Verity Lane
A Guide To Asakusa's Popular Souvenir Street - Nakamise Dori
This article introduces Nakamise dori, a thriving shopping street in Asakusa right near Sensoji Temple, famous for its large variety of traditional Japanese souvenirs.
Written by Shiori Nakajima
Nakamise Street (Nakamise dori) is a thriving shopping street that runs from the iconic "Thunder Gate" (Kaminarimon) right up to Tokyo's prestigious Sensoji Temple. The street was founded during either the Kyoho era (1716-1736) or the Genroku era (1688-1704), making it one of Japan's oldest shopping arcades. These days, a total of 89 stores line up along the 250 meter long strip, transforming this street into the prime shopping spot in Asakusa.
The staple souvenir of this timeless shopping area are the highly sought after Maneki-neko: cat figurines that are said to bring good luck. They are placed inside or in front of commercial establishments in order to bring in customers. Their raised paws symbolize the act of calling customers into the store. As you can see, a multitude of these feline talisman line the shelves of this doll shop.