Asakusa Guide

Asakusa is ‘shitamachi’ – the traditional, low-rise, down and dirty Tokyo of yesteryear. Although on the surface it’s ye olde Japan, this was the first part of the capital to have significant western influence. It was even the site of Japan’s first cinema. Asakusa is a great place to stay if you’re on a budget – it’s a little distant from the central Tokyo attractions but it provides a relaxing quiet oasis at the end of the day.

Atrractions in the area include one of Tokyo’s most historic temples – Sensoji, and the impressive Kaminari Gate that marks the entranceway to the temple. Also you can’t miss Phillip Stark’s ‘Golden Poo’ on the roof of the nearby Asahi Breweries headquarters.

As a place to live, it’s considerably cheaper than places in central Tokyo and also has a large number of “guest houses” catering for foreign residents. In the words of Akasaka resident Tim Vodden, “One good thing about living in Asakusa is being in the midst of a great number traditional Japanese cultural festivities. Whether it’s experiencing the bartering for lucky rakes during the Tori-no-ichi, seeing the portable shrines of the Sanja matsuri shaken through the backstreets and alleyways, or experiencing the golden dragon dance at Sensou-ji temple, Asakusa consistently offers brief glimpses into its storied Edo past. On the surface, the neighbourhood may appear drab and grey, dense with endless mid-rise apartment blocks, but there is always something new to discover down the next lane. It might be a legendary soba shop, a miniscule monjayaki restaurant run by a dear-old obaasan, or a glance at an elegant maiko in an expensive kimono shuffling her geta to her next appointment. Asakusa doesn’t have the flash and glamour of the other major Tokyo hubs, but it’s a great place to live. It’s a neighbourhood of hidden treasures.”

List of places in Asakusa

Articles about Asakusa

  • April 8th, 2015
    Sensoji second gate

    Sensoji – The Ins and Outs of Tokyo’s Oldest Temple

    Everybody knows Tokyo doesn’t really have landmarks (think quick: what is Tokyo’s Statue of Liberty, Big Ben or Eiffel Tower—there isn’t one, right?) but if it did, it would have to be Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, a 15-minute train ride […]

  • February 7th, 2015

    Hanayashiki: Japan’s Oldest Amusement Park

    Quick! Name an amusement park in Japan. Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan (USJ) will probably come to mind. But what about we focus on a homegrown Japanese theme park for a change? It’s time to get acquainted with […]

  • November 24th, 2014

    Asakusa Uncovered: Exploring Tokyo’s Shitamachi

    It may be the global capital of modern cool these days, but even back in the Edo period, Tokyo was home to some of the most fascinating culture in the world. Forget samurai and their stylized and ritualistic life you […]

Events in Asakusa

  • Shitamachi Tanabata

    Although the official poster says this event runs from the 3rd to the 8th of July, apart from Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th, the festival consists of the decorations only and the traditional tanabata activity of writing your [...]

  • Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival

    This is the big daddy of summer fireworks festivals in Tokyo. The fireworks kick off at 7:05pm and run for a full 90 minutes. This festival attracts massive crowds. Check out our guide to surviving the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival. The official [...]

  • 34th Asakusa Samba Carnival

    At Asakusa’s 34th Asakusa Samba Carnival, you are guaranteed to see the most dazzling array of beautiful telephoto lenses that you have ever witnessed – the dancers are quite interesting too! But seriously folks, this has become one of the [...]

Eating & Drinking in Asakusa

Entertainment in Asakusa

Shopping in Asakusa

Living in Asakusa

Getting Around in Asakusa

Itineraries in Asakusa

  • July 24th, 2014

    Cheapo 1-Day Tour : Tsukiji – Asakusa – Akihabara

    Check off five of Tokyo’s top sightseeing spots in one day, without spending a fortune. You’ll be sampling fresh sushi, strolling around a traditional Japanese garden, stopping by a famous temple, buzzing around the city’s anime and electronics hub, and [...]

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