Asakusa is the vibrant historical heart of Tokyo. With imposing temples, rows of traditional shops and many of Tokyo’s most famous sites, it unsurprisingly draws huge numbers of tourists throughout the year. This guide outlines the 10 key things that you won’t want to miss if you’re visiting the Asakusa district of Tokyo.
The Sensoji Temple Complex
The area around the Sensoji temple is home to Asakusa’s most famous, most visited, and most historical sites.
- Name: Sensoji Temple
- Address: 2-3-1 Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan
- Price: Free
- Access: Five minutes’ walk from Asakusa station
- Opening hours: 6.30am – 5pm
- Website: http://www.senso-ji.jp/
For the best experience of this world heritage site, enter the Sensoji Temple complex through the the main entrance – Kamanarimon, a large gate adorned with a magnificent traditional lantern and ancient statues.
2 –Nakamise Shopping Street
Leading away from Kamanarimon towards the main temple is the Nakamise shopping street, and running perpendicular to this is the Shin-Nakamise indoor shopping street. This area boasts a huge variety of traditional Japanese food, which you must make sure to sample.
3 – Hozomon
The inner gate of the Sensoji complex, Hozomon is covered with intricate golden designs, making it one of the most beautiful gates in Tokyo. It is full of ancient Japanese treasures.
4 – Sensoji temple
Sensoji Temple is the grandiose Buddhist temple at the center of Asakusa, one of the most famous temples in Tokyo, and a major Japanese tourist destination. It was completed in the year 645.
5 – Asakusa Shrine
This Shinto shrine is located near to the Sensoji Temple, and honors the men who founded it. It is marked by a large stone torii. Unlike many other ancient treasures in Tokyo, the Asakusa Shrine survived the air raids of the Second World War – so it is very historically important.
6 – Sensoji Pagoda
Within the Sensoji Temple complex stands a colossal pagoda, dominating the skyline. The magnificent spire sits atop the five story pagoda, visible from all over Asakusa. This impressive building was first completed in 942.
Other Asakusa Attractions
There is plenty to do in Asakusa outside of the historical temple area, ranging from gracious green spaces to curious modern museums.
7 – Sumida park
Sumida Park, which runs along the bank of the Sumida River, is an excellent place to see Japanese cherry blossom in spring. It also contains a small shrine, the Ushima Shrine. Although the park can be busy, it is still tranquil oasis in this very busy part of the city.
- Name: Sumida Park
- Price: Free
- Opening hours: Always open
- Access: 4 min walk from Honjoazumabashi Station, 6 min walk from Tokyo Sky Tree Station,7 min walk from Asakusa Station
8 – Amuse Museum
The amuse museum is a modern, unique institution which calls itself a ‘life museum.’ It contains a lot of Japanese art, but you can also take part in activities such as Indigo-dying or watch a performance at the museum’s theater.
- Name: Amuse Museum
- Address: 2-34-3 Asakusa, Taito Ku, Tokyo, Japan
- Price: Adults ¥1080
- Access: Asakusa Station 5 mins walk
- Opening hour: 10am – 6pm
- Holiday: Closed on Mondays and national holidays
- Website: http://www.amusemuseum.com
9 – Tokyo Sky Tree
Just across the river from Asakusa stands the Tokyo Sky Tree, an enormous tower from which you can see breathtaking views over the entire city. It the second tallest tower in the world, and boasts some of the best photo opportunities in Tokyo.
- Name: Tokyo Sky Tree
- Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0045, Japan
- Price: Standard Adult Ticket ¥2,060, plus ¥1,030 for top deck
- Access: Tokyo Sky Tree Station (Tobu Skytree Line)
- Opening hour: 8am – 10pm
- Holiday: Sumida River Fireworks, New Years Eve
- Website: http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp
10 – Hanayashiki Amusement park
Asakusa is also home to Hanayashiki, the oldest amusement park in Japan. Hanayashiki contains a variety of theme park attractions ranging from its gentle merry-go-round to its elevated roller coaster.
- Name: Hanayashiki Amusement Park
- Address: 2-Chome-28-1, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan
- Price: Adults ¥1000 entry, ¥2300 for rides
- Access: 5 mins walk from Asakusa station
- Opening hours: 10am – 6pm
- Website: http://www.hanayashiki.net