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

Tokyo 2015.04.13

Looking for something new in Asakusa? Head over to the Nishi Sando shopping street! Unique shops and great little restaurants are waiting for you there.

Translated byMATCHA_En

MATCHA's English language editorial board. We are bringing you the latest travel information on Japan. Yoroshiku!

Written by Shiori Nakajima

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After visiting Sensoji Temple and checking out the souvenir shops along the Nakamise-dori, make sure not to miss out on Nishi Sando too!

The easiest way to find Nishi Sando Shopping Street is to face Sensoji Temple, turn left, and walk straight along. Very shortly you'll come across an amazing traditional building.

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Artfully arranged along this building are replicas of hanafuda, a traditional card game, and many different seasonal posters and banners. This is the entrance gate to the Nishi Sando shopping street, which was refurbished in 2014.

The 1st Shopping Arcade With Natural Cypress in Japan!

As soon as you arrive at the entrance way, you may notice something different about the ground beneath your feet. The floor of the main aisle is made from intricately laid natural cypress, which gives the entire shopping street a warm and welcoming atmosphere, like a home.

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Although covering public roads in wood is not permitted in Japan, this was possible at Nishi Sando because the entire shopping street is technically built on private property belonging to Sensoji Temple.

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After checking out the floor below, you should also look above you. Nishi Sando is a covered shopping street, with a skylight ceiling, which means that you can freely shop here on rainy and sunny days. The main color of this arcade is vermilion, as are most of the buildings in the Sensoji Temple complex, and each shop here has ornamental tiles, lanterns, and noren curtains along their eaves. This color combination and attention to detail really makes you feel as though you've stepped into an Edo period ukiyo-e townscape.

Unique Shops Not Found Anywhere Else

Nishi Sando only runs about 100 meters long and is composed of about 40 stores, all of which have their own unique charms to share.

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In addition to delectable eateries such as Ramen Namara, there are also plenty of boutique shops and kimono stores here too.

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There is also an antique shop called Izumidou here, which is one of the best places to look for unusual souvenirs that you can't find anywhere else. Nishi Sando is even great if you are just looking to do some window shopping too, as there are plenty of things to check out along the way.

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At Ichiryou-ya Hirakawa you can appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of Japanese swords.

The Weekend Is the Best Time to Visit Nishi Sando

What did you think about Nishi Sando, the ukiyo-e inspired shopping street?

Full of rare architectural sights, traditional charms, great restaurants and charming shops, all in a 100 meter stroll? This is the perfect place to visit if you want to immerse yourself in the charms of Japan all at once. Visiting on the weekends is strongly recommended as there are various festivals, events and even enka (traditional Japanese ballads) performances held at Nishi Sando too! When visiting the Asakusa area, don't forget to check out this amazing little street too. You won't regret it!

Information

Nishi Sando Arcade
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-7-13
Hours: Varies by shop
Closed: Varies by shop
Wi-Fi: Available
Credit Cards: Varies by shop
Nearest Station: Asakusa Station (various lines)
Access: 5-10 minute walk from Asakusa Station
Website: http://www.asakusaomatsuri.com/mall/ (Japanese)

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