Asakusa, the heart of old Japan, is one of the most famous tourist spot in Tokyo. Not to mention Sensoji, the oldest temple in Tokyo, you can spend a whole day here wandering around in this incredible shitamachi (old downtown area), and feel traditonal atmosphere of ancient Edo period times. You can also considering of taking a traditional rickshaw ride tour, enjoy exploring the area in old Japanese style!
Ready to have fun in this energetic old town of Tokyo? Here are top things to do and places to visit in Asakusa and around.
The Tour of Old and New Japan in Asakusa
In Asakusa which is visited by more than half of the overseas tourists, you will encounter Tokyo’s oldest temple Sensoji Temple as well as the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), which is the outermost gate of Sensoji Temple as well as the street lined with old-school shops that lead to the inner precincts of the shrine. Many of the stores offer services in English.
Senso-ji Temple Senso-ji Temple, the oldest temple located in Tokyo, and Nakamise-dori connecting the Kaminarimon entrance to the main hall, are constantly crowded with sightseers on a yearly basis. Since the area has always had a large number of temples since the Edo Period, it has been called Teramachi, which translates to ‘City of Temples’. Asakusa Kokusai Avenue is where you can enjoy shopping while walking through this Teramachi. As soon as you exit Asakusa Station, there are many unique stores that sell goods such as Japa...
Get an impression of Japanese culture at Sensoji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo, and Nakamise-dori with its many shops
Sensoji Temple is Tokyo’s oldest temple and surrounding the main temple is a 5-story pagoda as well as various shops along Nakamise-dori leading up to the temple. The famous Sanja Festival, which snakes its way through the temple grounds, and the Hozuki Festival occur along with other events on a yearly basis at Sensoji Temple.
Sensoji at the centre of the Edo Period culture During the Edo period, Sensoji Temple was used as the main temple of prayer for the Tokugawa shogunate and resultantly, Sensoji Temple flourished in the city of Edo. Asakusa as a whole is representative of this shitamachi (downtown-style) culture during the Edo Period, and Sensoji Temple is the sightseeing spot that represents this history and culture of Asakusa largely due to the number of visitors it receives on a yearly basis. There are over a staggering 30 million worshippers whom visit t...
- Everyday (6:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
End your day of Tokyo sightseeing with the remarkable view from Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower has around 3 million visitors annually. More than half of the revenue generated by Tokyo Tower is due to its popularity as a tourist spot, and it remains to be a sought-after attraction for sightseers.
The History of Tokyo Tower Tokyo Tower was built as a radio broadcast tower in 1958, during a point in time when television began to spread throughout Japan. The construction costs of the tower were immense at over 3 billion yen. The tower was built during a time when Tokyo started flourishing economically, and since then, it has become a symbol and landmark for the rapid industrial growth of the city. Although the newly established Tokyo Skytree has garnered much praise and attained popularity due to its futuristic design, Tokyo Tower attr...
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 10:00 PM )
- Adult: 1600 JPY
- Child: 1000 JPY
An Unbroken View of Tokyo from Japan’s Highest Tower
In 2012, the Tokyo Skytree took the place of Tokyo Tower, which had been serving as Tokyo’s main radio tower since 1958, and has received recognition by the Guinness Book of World Records for its height. Not only does the Tokyo Skytree serve as a radio tower, it is also incredibly popular for the views from its observatory.
Tokyo Skytree Tokyo Skytree was constructed in 2012 and since then, it has become a new symbol for Tokyo. Not only does it serve a functional purpose as a radio tower, but since its opening, it constantly attracts a steady stream of tourists and visitors who seek out the splendid view of Chiba and Mount Fuji on a clear day. The Tokyo Skytree has also garnered attention for its modern design, resembling the structure of a five-story pagoda from ancient Japanese times. Perhaps it is the fact that the masterminds behind the construction of the...
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 10:00 PM )
- Adult: 2060 JPY
- Child: 930 JPY
Kappabashi, the Kingdom of Cooking. Japan’s No. 1 street for kitchen utensils
Kappabashi is the street located between Ueno and Asakusa with shops dealing in cookware. With over 100 years of history, customers from all over Japan, whether they be amateur cooks or professional chefs, come to the street. And even in recent years, it has become a hit with the overseas tourists as well.
How to enjoy Kappabashi There are 170 shops spanning a distance of approximately 800 meters which sell anything having to do with cooking. The Western tableware store, Niimi, has a huge model of a cook at the entrance to the street which has become a landmark. The store itself has amassed just about everything that has to do with cooking including Western and Japanese tableware, bar utensils, cookware and bakeware. At Kama-Asa Shoten, which deals in knives and Nambu ironware, there are English explanations for the knives, and there is also a...
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Depending on the store
Tokyo Solamachi, a new shitamachi. A place where you can get limited-edition goods as souvenirs sparkling with craftsmanship.
The commercial complex of Tokyo Solamachi opened in May 2012 together with Tokyo Sky Tree. Its 312 shops always provide the latest information while retaining the traditional culture of shitamachi (downtown).
A “new shitamachi style” is the concept. There are many kinds of facilities such as a shopping area, a museum and an aquarium. Together with Tokyo Sky Tree, the number of visitors has topped 100 million since its opening 2 years ago. It has become a new Tokyo landmark. Postal Museum Japan A 9th-floor museum that introduces and displays goods related to the postal service and communications. Along with a stamp display that numbers 330,000 which ranks as Japan’s largest collection, there are also about 400 exhibits relating...
- Everyday (10:00 AM ~ 9:00 PM )
Ryogoku is the place for sumo. See the full intensity of the sumo wrestlers (rikishi) up close!
Encountering the many wrestlers during a sumo tournament in Tokyo feels like you’ve slipped back in time to the Edo Era. You can see their lifestyle and eat like them through the many haberdasheries for these king-sized men and restaurants with their huge portions.
Enjoy sumo in Ryogoku In the Edo Era, Ryogoku became an area comparable to Ueno and Asakusa due to the development of Ryogoku Bridge. Sumo started to flourish from Kanjin sumo (tournaments to raise the necessary funds to build and restore temple buildings) at Eko-in Temple. The major sumo tournaments are held in January, May and September at Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena. In addition, the 1st floor of the arena is a sumo museum where material on sumo such as woodblock prints, banzuke (rikishi rankings), and ornamental mawashi aprons (a type of...
An amusement park with that retro atmosphere
An amusement park that has been loved for decades with Japan’s oldest roller coaster. An atmospheric place that has melted into the streets of Asakusa.
Plenty of nostalgic attractions With scenery where you can enjoy the collaboration of Senso-ji Temple, Nakamise Dori, and Tokyo Sky Tree with the historic streets, Asakusa still retains the appearance of Japan from the good ol’ days. It is known as a must-see tourist spot and Asakusa Hanayashiki is also one of those atmospheric tourist areas where you can feel the nostalgia. First opened in 1853, it is Japan’s oldest amusement park, and the roller coaster that was popular back in the day still survives today. The 60-year-old rolle...
- Everyday (10:00 AM ~ 6:00 PM )
Dependent on the season so please check the homepage
- Adult: 1000 JPY
- Child: 500 JPY
Adults (junior high to 64 years of age) 2300 yen
Children (elementary school) 2000 yen
Seniors (65 and older) 1800 yen
Toddlers (2 years and older)1800 yen
The water bus, another way to enjoy your time in Tokyo
There are many tourist spots along the Arakawa and Sumida Rivers. Moving by train is fine, but how about going by water bus while viewing the scenery from the river?
TOKYO CRUISE There are 6 lines in operation. The pleasure boat, Atake Maru , used by the feudal lords of the Edo Era as a personal luxury passenger vessel, has been re-created. Among the 10 types of water bus, this one gets a lot of looks. It has a strong sense of entertainment, and the onboard meals and shows have an elegant atmosphere. Travel time is about 40 minutes. Also, there are a variety of events throughout the year such as a New Year’s cruise, a night cherry blossom-viewing cruise, cruises through Sumida River and Tokyo Bay to...
Differs depending on the facility
An exciting samba parade with dazzling costumes and impressive dancing
Top teams gathering from all over Japan take part in a genuine samba dance contest competing for top scores. Enjoy this samba carnival which is said to be the largest of its kind in the northern hemisphere.
A competitive parade with a contest filled with energy Japan’s biggest samba carnival contest takes place on the final Saturday of August in which genuine samba dance teams gather from all over the nation. Originating in 1981, 2016 marks the 35th anniversary. Every year, 500,000 visitors come to see this spectacle which is an Asakusa summer event. The parade contest consists of an S1 league with 9 teams and an S2 league with 11 teams for a total of 20 teams, with the top S1 teams having a total of 150-300 participants. The teams have th...
A thrilling festival of Asakusa tradition with vigorous shouts accompanying the parade of mikoshi through the streets
Asakusa’s Sanja Festival boasting 700 years of history. Mikoshi (portable shrines) and floats are pulled through the streets while loud shouts accompany them, and during the festival’s 3 days, 1.5 million people come out to celebrate.
The history of the Sanja Festival The origins of the Sanja Festival lay with the Hinokuma brothers who discovered a statue of the Bodhisattva Kannon, the principal image of Senso-ji Temple, and the landlord who consecrated the statue and established the temple, Nakatomo Hajino. The three spirits of the men were then enshrined. The Hinokumas, who were fishermen, found the statue in the middle of a fishing net, and in 1312 when the festival was first started, it took on the form of a boat festival with mikoshi being placed on boats. And then wi...
30,000 people running through the middle of Tokyo
In 2013, the Tokyo Marathon was added into the World Marathon Majors as one of the world’s important marathons. The exhilarating feeling of running through some of Tokyo’s landmarks is exceptional.
One of the world’s leading international marathons for the citizens of Tokyo A merger of the former Tokyo International Marathon for elite runners and the former Tokyo City Road Race for citizen runners and physically challenged people, the Tokyo Marathon has become a large-scale city marathon. The inaugural race was held in 2007 and since then, a wide field of superb invited athletes and participants have made this a world-class marathon of note. In 2010, it earned a Gold Label according to the world road race ranking system of the Inte...
A cutlery shop with 90 years of experience specializing in sharpening techniques passed down over the decades
On Kappabashi Street which is famous for kitchen goods, there is Kamata Hakensha, a shop which specializes in cutlery. With a large stock of over 800 kinds of products, the store is popular for its service in engraving and sharpening.
A 90-year-old establishment that has passed down blade-sharpening techniques The commercial area of Kappabashi Street runs for 800m from north to south between Asakusa and Ueno and had its origins from around 1912 when merchants started selling secondhand goods there. Today, Kappabashi has around 170 stores associated with cuisine including cookware, tableware and kitchen equipment. Kamata Hakensha was founded in Tokyo’s Asakusa district in 1923 and has passed down its blade-sharpening techniques to a 4th generation over the past 90 yea...
- Saturday (10:00 AM ~ 6:00 PM )
- Sunday (10:30 AM ~ 5:30 PM )
- Weekdays (10:00 AM ~ 6:00 PM )
- Holidays (10:30 AM ~ 5:30 PM )
Cruise around the Tokyo Sky Tree neighborhood on a spectacular amphibious bus
Get on the Sky Duck amphibious bus for a tour of Tokyo Sky Tree and other famous sites. Look forward to the thrill of heading straight into the river once you get on.
A sightseeing tour overflowing with a sense of fun Tokyo Sky Tree is the very popular site that has become the new symbol of Tokyo. Its modern and stylish appearance has an impressiveness that you can still feel even when seen from far away, but the surrounding neighborhoods including Asakusa and the atmospheric Kameido are Tokyo sightseeing areas that also cannot be missed with their townscapes retaining the good old days of a long-ago metropolis. Walking around these areas is recommended but there is also the new sightseeing tour which star...
- Adult: 2900(2600) JPY
- Child: 1400(1200) JPY
The brackets refer to the Kameido course