Directions from Tokyo StationEdit
- Tokyo [Yamanote Line (for Ueno)] → Kanda [Tokyo Metro Subway (for Asakusa)] → Asakusa
- Tokyo [JR Keihin Tohoku Line (for Omiya)] → Kanda [Tokyo Metro Subway Ginza Line (for Asakusa)] → Asakusa
- Tokyo [Yamanote Line (for Shinagawa)] → Shinbashi [Asakusa Line (to Keiseisakura)] → Asakusa
- Tokyo [Keihin Tohoku Line (for Kamata)] → Shinbashi [Asakusa Line (to Keiseisakura)] → Asakusa
Asakusa station has three ways of train access.
- 1. Eidan Subway: Ginza Line
- 2. Tokyo Metro Subway: Asakusa Line
- 3. Tobu Railroad: Isesaki Line
The three stations are placed relatively close to each other.
Jinrikisha, a two wheeled car with a seat for 1 to 2 people, is one of the specialties of Asakusa. It could be found almost anywhere around Asakusa.
Invented in around 1868, similar rides are now commonly seen in many other countries in the world. Today, Jinrikisha is mostly used for sightseeing, where the runner, who draws the cart, guide and introduce the district of Asakusa; its tourist attractions and sometimes, his or her personal recommendations.
30 minutes for 1 person - 5000 yen~, 2 persons - 8000 yen~
60 minutes for1 person - 9000 yen~, 2 persons - 15000yen~
Some charges depending on the distance it runs (e.g. 2000yen per kilometer)
Though rather costly, riding Jinrikisha would give you the feel of how people used to travel in the old days and thus, is highly recommended. Besides, you get to go around Asakusa without getting exhausted! The runner guides are very friendly (and often good looking), so just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Asakusa, a district located in Taito-ku, is one of the most popular tourism places in Tokyo for foreigners.
It is said to have its origin in the year 628 (the year 36 of the Emperor Suiko’s age) when the fishermen found the statue of bodhisattva Kannon in his net (which will later become enshrined in the Sensoji) and started praising it. Soon, the religious acts for the Kannon, together with the favored geographical location made people gather, expand, and develop Asakusa into a lively, entertaining place for the people of Edo. This place is said to be the birthplace of Edo culture.
Today, it is a place where one can get a glimpse of old Tokyo, as historical and religious establishments are still well preserved, almost in their original forms. It is a district of long tradition and culture, treasured and cherished for thousands of years, in the midst of modernized city of Tokyo.
In the year 628 (the year 36 of the Emperor Suiko’s age), two fishermen found the bodhisattva Kannon at the Sumida River. Hearing the news, the village headman of Asakusa enshrined the Kannon to his house, which he rebuilt into a temple and worshipped. This place later became known as the Sensoji Temple. In 645, renowned Buddhist priest Shokai Shonin repaired the Temple and built it at the place where it now exists. Shokai, after having a dream one day, decided Kannon should not be shown publicly and thus, the Kannon has been hidden within the temple, away from the human view ever since. Amongst the many Buddhas, Bodhisattva Kannon is known as the most compassionate. By praying to the Bodhisattva Kannon, it is said, one can be relieved from sufferings and have wishes be granted. Today, more than 30 million people visit this oldest temple in Tokyo every year to pray to the Kannon.
The main gate of the Sensoji Temple. Its formal name is “Fu-rai-jin-mon”. The name comes from Fu-jin, the god of wind, and the Rai-jin, the god of thunder, still enshrined at both ends of the gate today. A great red lantern hangs down from the center. This lantern has diameter of 3.3 meters, is 3.9 meters high, and weighs 700 kilograms. Of its powerful appearance, Kaminarimon is the symbol of Asakusa.
Omikuji (Written Fortune Slip)
Usually at temples and shrines, there is a place where one could draw "omikuji", or a fortune slip. There are different ways of drawing, and at the Sensoji Temple, you shake the case which contains many sticks with numbers on them, and receive the fortune slip from the box with the same number on it. There are 7 fortune levels in Sensoji fortune slips:
大吉“Dai-Kichi”: very good luck
小吉”Sho-Kichi”: small luck
半吉”Han-Kichi”: half luck
末吉”Sue-Kichi”: near luck
末小吉”Suesho-Kichi”: near small luck
凶“Kyou” :bad luck
Even if you draw one of the bad lucks, don’t worry. The “Kyou” fortune slips could be tied to the prescribed place where it is said to change bad lucks to good ones. The five fortune levels show one’s overall fortune. More specifically categorized fortunes with explanations are written on the omikuji for you to read. If you visit a temple or a shrine at Asakusa, try your luck by drawing one of those Omikujis.
2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo (zip code: 111-0032)
For more information, call:03-3842-0181
or visit their website http://www.senso-ji.jp/index2.html
Nakamise-dori is one of the oldest shopping arcades in Japan. The history of Nakamise-dori goes back to when General Ieyasu Tokugawa started the Edo shogunate. As the Edo shogunate begun, the population as well as the visitors around Sensoji Temple increased, and the people living near Sensoji area was given a special right to open up shops on the street which led to the Temple. This is the start of Nakamise. In the Eras that followed, Nakamise have once been controlled by the government, destroyed due to earth quakes, and then destroyed again during WW2. However, due to the effort of the local people, it was soon renewed and since then, Nakamise has still been lively with over 80 shops opened. The present Nakamise-dori is about 250 meters long, consisting of shops selling things such as snacks, souvenirs and sweets. The antique, Japanese market looking street inspires foreign visitors greatly. Because so many shops are packed in Nakamise, one’s eating/buying needs are easily satisfied by just walking through that one street.
For more information http://www.asakusa-nakamise.jp/
Built in 1853, Hanayashiki is the oldest amusement park in Japan. It is well known for its roller coaster which goes through the antique buildings of Asakusa. Within the park are 17 attractions and special events are held every Saturday, Sundays and other holidays for visitors to enjoy.
2-28-1, Asakusa, Taito-ku 111-0032
10：00～18：00 (Operation Hours oan change seasonally and Weather)
for more information, call 03-3842-8780
Asakusa is also famous for having shops producing “food samples”. “Food samples” are fake artificial food, made out of plastic as shown in the figures. They are commonly displayed in show windows of restaurants as both an advertisement to attract customers, and easy visible menu to give people the idea of the kind of dishes the restaurant serves. Because each restaurant has their own dishes, each food samples are carefully handmade. Cell phone straps and key chain size food samples are very popular souvenirs among foreigners.
3-7-4 Nishi Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo (phone:03-3844-1650)
2-24-7 Nishi Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo (phone:03-3843-8364)
1-5-17 Nishi Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo (phone:03-3843-1686)
Personal Recommendation Best 3Edit
Here are some of the traditional Japanese snacks sold at stores in Nakamise-dori. There are more food and drinks that are special in Asakusa within the Nakamise-dori. Go and explore yourself :)
“Manju” is a Japanese-style bun stuffed with azuki-bean paste. One of the Asakusa specialties is this manju which is fried (“Age” means “fried”).
Cost (approx): 100 yen~
Some stores sell age-manjyu of different fillings such as: custard, sesame, sweet green tea paste, and pumpkin. Enjoy the softness, sweetness and the colorful variation of age-manjyu!
Senbei (rice cracker)
Senbei, aka rice cracker, is one of the snacks loved by Japanese people for generations, and a popular souvenir of Japan. Here in Asakusa, there are various flavors, sizes, and hardness of senbeis. Examples of the senbei flavor are soy sauce, salt, laver, and sesame. They are sold both individually and by cases.
Cost (approx): 100yen~
Try the traditional snack of Japan, and see if you like the taste and crispness. Some stores at the Nakamise-dori actually roast the senbei before your eyes, and you could taste the just made senbei while walking down the streets of Asakusa.
Dango (Japanese dumpling)
Eaten all year round, dango is another recommended snack you can get in Asakusa. It is a type of Japanese dumpling made from rice flower which is also used to make rice cakes. Dangos are usually shaped in small balls and served with three to four in one skewer as shown in the figure. As such phrase as "Hana yori dango" (rather have dumplings than flowers) exists, Japanese love dongo and there are various kinds of dango sold all over Japan. But the commonly sold (and highly recommended to try) are shoyu dango (dango covered with soy sauce) and mitarashi dango (dango covered with syrup made from soy sauce, sugar and starch).
Cost (approx): 100yen~