15 Exciting Things To Do In Asakusa

15 Exciting Things To Do In Asakusa

Asakusa 2018.07.10

The traditional downtown area of Tokyo and home to many internationally known sightseeing spots, Asakusa is full of classic Japanese things to both see and do! Here are 15 classic Japanese things to try in ever popular Asakusa.

Written by MATCHA_En

Pin reddit

Asakusa is one of the most popular sightseeing areas in Tokyo. Despite suffering extensive damage during the Tokyo bombings that took place during the Second World War, the area was rebuilt and the preserved historical shitamachi (downtown area) of Asakusa is now one of the most visited tourist spots in the city.

Here you will find the famed Sensoji Temple and the great paper lantern of Kaminarimon, but there are dozens, if not hundreds of incredible things to both see and do here, many of which you won't find in most guidebooks. Here are 15 classic things to do in Asakusa.

Table of Contents:

1. Sensoji Temple and Nakamise Dori - Explore Tokyo's Oldest Temple
2. Hanayashiki - Enjoy Japan's Oldest Amusement Park
3. Nishi Sando Shopping Street - A Place Like an Ukiyo-e Painting
4. Asakusa Tourist Culture Information Center - Enjoy the View!
5. Tokyo Skytree - Get the Perfect Photo of Japan's Tallest Tower
6. Sumida River Cruise - Discover Asakusa from a Different Angle
7. Asakusa Shrine - A Shrine Beside a Temple?
8. Asakusa's Underground Shopping Center - Check Out Retro Asakusa
9. Souvenir Hunting in Asakusa - So Many Options
10. Shichifukujin Pilgrimage - Set Out to Improve Your Luck
11. Asahi Super Dry Hall - Figure Out What the Golden Thing Is!
12. Take a Rickshaw Ride and Get to Know Asakusa More Deeply
13. Textile Culture and Ukiyo-e Art Museum - See and Feel Japanese History Yourself
14. Matsuchiyama Shoden - A Temple Decorated with Daikon Radishes?
15. Asakusa Barhopping Tour - Discover the Nightlife

1. Sensoji Temple and Nakamise Dori - Explore Tokyo's Oldest Temple

15 Exciting Things To Do In Asakusa

From: Sensoji Temple - A Complete Guide

Sensoji Temple is one of the most famous temples in Japan. It looks back on a 1300 year long history and is also famous for its entrance gate called Kaminarimon which stands out through its large red lantern.

Sensoji itself is not the only reason why you should visit the area. The oldest shopping street in Japan, called Nakamise Dori is located beyond Kaminarimon and leads to the temple's main hall. On Nakamise Dori you can buy traditional Japanese craft items as well as delicious snacks such as fried mochi (glutinous rice cakes).

Sensoji Temple
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-3-1
Google Map

2. Hanayashiki - Enjoy Japan's Oldest Amusement Park

15 Exciting Things To Do In Asakusa

From: Hanayashiki - Enjoy Asakusa's Retro Amusement Park!

Hanayashiki was founded in 1853 and is one of Japan's oldest amusement parks. It is located near Sensoji Temple and hosts about twenty five attractions.

Here you can enjoy all the beloved amusement park attractions such as roller coasters, a merry-go-round and a haunted house. This park surely has some old school flair and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Hanayashiki
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-28-1
Google Map

3. Nishi Sando Shopping Street - A Place Like an Ukiyo-e Painting

15 Classic Things To Do In Asakusa

From: Nishi Sando: The Ukiyo-e Inspired Wooden Shopping Arcade In Asakusa

If you stand facing Sensoji Temple, turn to your left and take a short walk, you will find yourself facing this amazing structure. This is Nishi Sando, a covered shopping street that looks like something you would find in an Edo period ukiyo-e painting.

The floor of this market is even covered in natural Japanese cypress flooring! This short market area, which has shops selling everything from souvenirs, regional ramen, and samurai swords, is the perfect place to go if you only want to do a little shopping and a lot of seeing Japanese history come to life.

Nishi Sando
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-7-13
Google Map

4. Asakusa Tourist Culture Information Center - Enjoy the View!

15 Classic Things To Do In Asakusa

From: Asakusa Tourist Culture Information Center: An Asakusa Traveler's Best Ally

While you might think that you have your route all sorted out when visiting Asakusa, you might want to reconsider your options and visit the Asakusa Tourist Culture Information Center first. This eight-story center stands right across from Kaminarimon, the entrance to Sensoji Temple, and is the place to go if you need wi-fi, want to see limited time exhibits related to the area, grab a bite to eat, or get guidance and support while sightseeing in Asakusa.

But the main reason you should visit is for the view from their eighth floor observatory. Although the eighth floor might not sound like much when compared to other observation decks in the city, this is the only place you can take in a clear and full sweeping view of Sensoji Temple, Kaminarimon and Tokyo Skytree all at once.

Asakusa Tourist Culture Information Center
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Kaminarimon 2-18-9
Google Map

5. Tokyo Skytree - Get the Perfect Photo of Japan's Tallest Tower

15 Classic Things To Do In Asakusa

From: Get The Perfect Shot Of Tokyo Skytree - Top 5 Photo Spots In Asakusa

While it goes without saying that you should definitely check out Tokyo Skytree and all its related attractions in nearby Oshiage, there is one thing that you can do to enjoy Japan's tallest tower while in Asakusa: photograph it!

There are plenty of places to take pictures of Skytree in Asakusa, and depending on what sort of shot you'd like, there are even different poses you can take on to get a selfie with the tower too. Why not get creative and see what sort of photos you can get of Skytree?

Tokyo Skytree
Address: Tokyo, Asakusa, Sumida 1-1-2
Google Map

6. Sumida River Cruise - Discover Asakusa from a Different Angle

15 Exciting Things To Do In Asakusa

From: Asakusa Travel Guide: Savor The Past In The Historical Center Of Tokyo

Sumida River flows through Asakusa, so why not take the opportunity to explore Asakusa by ship? It's a great occasion to see this historical part of Tokyo from a different angle.

Water cruises on the popular Suijo Bus between Asakusa and other areas of Tokyo such as Odaiba are very enjoyable. You can get off the ship in Hamarikyu and enjoy its beautiful gardens or at Hinode Pier, which is a popular boat trip location in Japan. Or how about going all the way to the Odaiba Seaside Park?

7. Asakusa Shrine - A Shrine Beside a Temple?

15 Classic Things To Do In Asakusa

From: Sensoji Temple's Next Door Neighbor: Asakusa Shrine

Off to the right of Sensoji Temple, you will notice a tall torii shrine gate and long pathway - this is the entrance way to Sensoji's neighbor, Asakusa Shrine. While it might seem hard fathom at first, the relationship between Japan's native religion, Shinto, and the imported Buddhism, is very syncretic, so having these two structures side by side just seems to make sense.

Asakusa Shrine is where the two men who founded Sensoji Temple are enshrined, and is yet another peaceful spot in the complex that is said to offer blessings regarding safe travels, familial happiness, and in whatever your heart desires. Plus, here you can find an unusual, all black omamori charm, meant to remind you that everything will be alright.

Asakusa Shrine
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-3-1
Google Map

8. Asakusa's Underground Shopping Center - Check Out Retro Asakusa

15 Classic Things To Do In Asakusa

From: Nostalgic Japan: Asakusa's Underground Shopping Center

Have you ever wondered what life was like in Japan during the postwar period? If you have, then you might want to head to Asakusa's Underground Shopping Center, easily reached from EKIMISE, a shopping center and the Tobu Asakusa Line's Asakusa Station.

This shopping center is not very well known even to the Japanese, despite having been open since 1955, but there are many great and cheap Japanese restaurants, bars, and shops catering to the busy working person here. Not only that, but the majority of them have been in business since the shopping center first opened. If you want to see a retro slice of life in Tokyo, then this is the place to go.

Underground Shopping Center
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 1-1-12
Google Map

9. Souvenir Hunting in Asakusa - So Many Options

15 Exciting Things To Do In Asakusa

From: Your Go-To Asakusa Souvenir Shopping Guide!

One thing that everyone does in Asakusa is shop for souvenirs. Why wouldn't you? Here there are literally hundreds of stores selling thousands of items; everything from simple postcards to green tea snacks all the way to antique kimono and authentic samurai swords or original Japanese handicrafts can be easily found at this very station.

That being said, knowing just where to find what you are looking for can be quite the challenge. Nakamise Dori - the street in front of Sensoji Temple, EKIMISE, Rox, and of course Asakusa's Don Quijote are great places to start the search for the perfect souvenir and are sightseeing spots in their own right as well.

Don Quijote
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-10-14
Google Map

10. Shichifukujin Pilgrimage - Set Out to Improve Your Luck

15 Classic Things To Do In Asakusa

From: Get Your Wish Ready When Visiting Asakusa's Seven Lucky Gods!

The term Shichifukujin, or Seven Lucky Gods, refers to seven deities named Daikokuten, Ebisu, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Hotei, Jurojin, and Benzaiten that grant good fortune in different fields such as business, health, creativity, etc. Unfortunately, there aren’t many shrines where they are all enshrined together, so in many cases, if you want to pray for luck in several different areas, you will need to visit many different temples or shrines.

Still, it is believed that he or she who visits all seven shrines and temples where these gods dwell in the right order, will be bestowed with great fortune! This trip is often called the Shichifukujin Pilgrimage. In this photo you can see Yoshiwara Shrine, where the goddess of the arts and intelligence, Benzaiten, is enshrined. She is the only goddess among the Shichifukujin, and as a result, is also said to grant blessings regarding love and fertility.

11. Asahi Super Dry Hall - Figure Out What the Golden Thing Is!

15 Classic Things To Do In Asakusa

From: What's That Gold Thing In Asakusa? A Visit To The Asahi Super Dry Hall

When you come out of Asakusa Station and look towards Sumida river and Tokyo Skytree, you may notice this strange, gold "thingy" on top of a glittering black building.

This is the Asahi Super Dry Hall, one of the offices of the Asahi Beer Company, and a landmark in the Asakusa area. You'll likely see scores of people taking photos of this strange gold object, and hear of it being called a 'golden cloud' or sometimes even a 'gold poo' by bewildered folks wondering just what exactly it is.

If you want to know just what it's meant to represent, take a look at this article or head to the Asahi Super Dry Hall to find out for yourself!

Asahi Super Dry Hall
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Azumabashi 1-23-1
Google Map

12. Take a Rickshaw Ride and Get to Know Asakusa More Deeply

15 Classic Things To Do In Asakusa

From: A Throwback To Old Japan: Take A Ride On Asakusa's Rickshaws

Maybe you want to see all of Asakusa without having to walk too much, or perhaps you want a private guided tour of the area? Whatever your reasoning, one great and convenient option to learn all about the Asakusa area is by rickshaw.

At Jidaiya, one of the top rickshaw tour companies in Asakusa, you can choose from a variety of plans for one to three people, all of which last for different lengths of time and are available in Japanese, English, and Chinese. Although it can get pricey, this is the ideal option for those who want to see it all, but don't have enough time to wander about the city.

Jidaiya
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Sumida 2-3-5
Google Map

13. Textile Culture and Ukiyo-e Art Museum - See and Feel Japanese History Yourself

15 Classic Things To Do In Asakusa

From: A Rare Sight: Asakusa's Textile Culture And Ukiyo-e Art Museum

The vast majority of museums and galleries in the world are strictly hands-off places, but this isn't the case at the Textile Culture and Ukiyo-e Art Museum, found just outside the Nitenmon Gate of Sensoji Temple. Here you'll find displays of textiles and goods collected by the renowned Japanese folklorist Chuzaburou Tanaka, nearly 800 of which have been declared Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

Fans of Japanese history, fashion, and those wanting to learn more about Japanese handicrafts, or even lovers of Kurosawa films, should not miss out on seeing and touching the stunning collection of items housed at the Textile Culture and Ukiyo-e Art Museum.

Textile Culture and Ukiyo-e Art Museum
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-34-3
Google Map

14. Matsuchiyama Shoden - A Temple Decorated with Daikon Radishes?

15 Classic Things To Do In Asakusa

From: Its Symbol Is A Daikon Radish?! Asakusa's Matsuchiyama Shoden Temple

Matsuchiyama Shoden is a less well known and slightly hidden Buddhist temple in Asakusa, which is said to be a temple of thanksgiving, and one that grants blessings on fulfillment in love, family harmony, business prosperity and others to its worshipers.

And, with the daikon radish as its distinctive but unusual symbol, you will be able to find daikon radish designs throughout the grounds too. Although this temple is a little bit harder to find than others in the Asakusa area, the charming pond with carp fish swimming in it and Edo period clay wall, as well as the neighborhood itself more than make it up for the hunt.

Matsuchiyama Shoden
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 7-4-1
Google Map

15. Asakusa Barhopping Tour - Discover the Nightlife

15 Exciting Things To Do In Asakusa

Photo cortesy of Magical Trip

Many people wouldn’t think of nightlife when talking about Asakusa but a bar hopping tour can show you just how lively this place can be after the sun goes down.

Magical Trip offers a bar hopping tour through three little-known bars in Asakusa where you can enjoy unique local drinks and try your hand at making monjayaki, the most popular izakaya food in Asakusa. Taste Asakusa nightlife in every way possible!

Get the Most Out of Asakusa

There are so many things to see, do, eat and buy in Asakusa that it might make your head spin, but if you want to get the absolute most out of a trip to this historical downtown hot spot, then consider this article to be your guide to the best that Tokyo's old shitamachi has to offer!

You May Also Like:

15 Unusual Things To Do In Ginza
15 Fun Things To Do In Osaka
15 Unique Things To Do In Ueno
10 Amazing, Little Known Spots Worth Visiting In Kyoto
15 Fun Things To Do In Osaka - Both Famous And Little Known!

Related topics

Pin reddit