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

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

Tokyo 2015.08.16

When you head out of Asakusa Station and look towards the Sumida river, you'll see a strange golden "thingy" atop one building. Today we get to the bottom of what that golden item is!

Translated by MATCHA_En

Written by Hori Yuhei

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A Staple of Any Asakusa Visit: the Mysterious Golden Object

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If you exit Asakusa Station from either the Tobu Asakusa or Tokyo Metro Ginza line exits, and then look towards the Sumida river, you will see a very mysterious object.

It has a gold colored body, a shape reminiscent of a whale or tadpole, and a size that stimulates the curiosity of anyone who comes across it.

Because of its incredibly visible location, it really stands out and has become one of Asakusa's main tourist sites.

Its Weird Shape Bewilders Overseas Visitors...

Since it's clearly visible from Kaminarimon - the main attraction in Asakusa - it certainly gains the attention of overseas tourists. It's very common in Asakusa to see tourists looking at it with a puzzled expression on their face, and then just taking a photo of it, whatever it may be.

By the way, because of the shape of the object some Japanese people refer to it as the 'gold poo building'.

True Identity of the Weird Object?... A Beer Company's 'Passionate Heart'

In fact, this is the hall adjacent to the Azumabashi headquarters of Asahi Beer. The official name of the building is the 'Super Dry Hall'.

The gold building next to it is the Asahi headquarters building, where their beer glasses are designed.

The building and object itself were designed by French designer Philippe Starck. It's actually a flame meant to represent the passionate heart of the Asahi Beer company.

Getting a Closer Look

So, now let's take a trip up to where this strange golden object is situated.

浅草駅 アサヒビル スカイツリー 隅田川 12
浅草駅 アサヒビル スカイツリー 隅田川 13

Arriving at Asakusa Station, first take the stairs or escalator up to level 1, and head for the number five exit.

浅草駅 アサヒビル スカイツリー 隅田川 3

Upon leaving the exit, turn to your left hand side, which is in the opposite direction to that of Kaminarimon.

浅草駅 アサヒビル スカイツリー 隅田川 5

And there you will see it! The golden object!

浅草駅 アサヒビル スカイツリー 隅田川 6

Walk across the intersection, and cross over the Azumabashi Bridge spanning the Sumida river.

浅草 アサヒビル スカイツリー 隅田川

Getting closer! It's a lot bigger than it looks from the station, isn't it?

浅草駅 アサヒビル スカイツリー 隅田川 7

It becomes a bit harder to see as you get right underneath it...

浅草駅 アサヒビル スカイツリー 隅田川 8

Once you get to this point you can only really see the tail end of it.

浅草駅 アサヒビル スカイツリー 隅田川 9

Since we've come this far, let's go inside. Looks like there are cafes and restaurants on the 1st, 2nd, 21st and 22nd floor.

浅草駅 アサヒビル スカイツリー 隅田川 11

On the 1st floor is an exhibition detailing the history of the Asahi Beer company.

浅草駅 アサヒビル スカイツリー 隅田川 10

They introduce us to Asahi Beer's efforts towards environmental protection.

It's kind of a surprise to learn that this sort of facility exists underneath that mysterious golden object on the roof.

The Asahi Super Dry Hall is now one of the standout landmarks in Asakusa thanks to the presence of this unique piece of art. So next time you're in Asakusa, you won't have to just stare in bewilderment at this funny thing, you can actually go and check it out!

Information

Asahi Super Dry Hall
Address: Tokyo, Sumida, Azumabashi 1-23-1 Asahi Beer Hall
Nearest Station: Asakusa Station, various lines
Access: 5 minute walk from Exit 4 or 5 (Ginza or Tobu line stations), 10 minute walk from A5 Exit (Toei Asakusa line station), or 6 minute walk from A3 Exit of Honjo Azumabashi Station (Toei Asakusa Line)
Website: Asahi Super Dry Hall (Japanese)

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