Asakusa is one of the areas which is popular among Japanese and travelers. It is also the traditional downtown area of Tokyo and home to many internationally known sightseeing places like the Sensoji Temple and the great paper lantern of Kaminarimon. This is my second time visiting Asakusa and I couldn’t suppress the feeling of excitement the night before and thought ‘I can’t wait to go back and explore again.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with your friends, you need internet connectivity on the go. I highly recommend bringing a WiFi router to navigate around Asakusa as some parts of Tokyo doesn’t have hotspots. At the same time, you get to document your adventure on your social media!
HOW TO GET TO ASAKUSA
From Shinjuku Station: Take the Marounuchi Line in Shinjuku Sanchome station going to Akasaka-mitsuke Station , transfer couch to Ginza Line going to Asakusa Station .
Price: JP¥240 (covers both train-rides, no need to re-purchase a ticket)
FYI: Just in case you purchased a ticket that’s lesser the amount required you may have it ‘readjusted’ at your destination (in this case, Asakusa station). Just ask the station staff (most of them can speak English and are very friendly ).
TIP: It is easier to remember which train to take by taking note of the station numbers. Each has their own assigned numbers and each lane has color coding. For example, Ginza line has GOLD as their assigned color and Ginza Line in Asakusa station is 19 hence, ).
For convenient travel, you may avail your subway tickets through this link. You may choose to have 24, 48, or 72 hours validity of unlimited subway rides: Tokyo Subway Tickets
THINGS TO DO IN ASAKUSA
1. Take a Rickshaw Ride and Get to Know Asakusa More Deeply.
Sit back and relax as your knowledgeable driver peddles you past some of the city’s iconic sites, lovely gardens, towering skyscrapers and historic shops, passing cherry and maple trees as you go. It’s a great way to take a relaxed, informative, ride through this atmospheric area of Tokyo. You may customize your ride by this time, I let my driver, Daisuke do his thing. The stops include the quirky Raccoon Street, Hanayashiki Amusement Park, Hanakawado neighborhood, Sumida Park, Bentendo Hall and lastly at the Senso-ji Temple .
15-minute tour 3000 yen ($30) for two people, or if you’re alone, 2000 yen ($20)
30-minute tour is around 8000 yen for two ($80) or 5000 yen ($50) for just one person.
You may book this tour at this link: Asakusa Rickshaw Tour
2. Admire the Senso-Ji Temple.
It is oldest Buddist tempe in Tokyo, Japan dating 645 AD. The 5-story pagoda which was built by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Shogun of the Edo era is just nearby. The temple is open from 06:00 to 17:00 every day and is free.
3. Get ‘purified’ at the the Chozuya.
TIP: It’s a struggle traveling alone – which means, no one is going to take your picture. Just ask politely. 🙂
“Sumimasen. Shashin o totte kuremasu ka?”
Excuse me, can you please take my picture? *smile*
4. Yukata Shopping at Nakamise-dōri.
It is a shopping street on the approach to the Sensō-Ji temple. It is said to have come about in the early 18th century. It has around 80+ shops where you can buy all sorts of souvenirs and food. In my case, I bought a Yukata.
Yukata (dress) – Y3800
Sash – Y1000
5. Have a taste of their street foods.
If you’re looking for a foodie adventure in Japan, you can’t go wrong with Japanese street food! In Nakamise, it’s easy to stumble upon rows of street vendors selling sweet and savory ready-to-eat dishes. I went to try their Dango and I absolutely loved it!
6. Visit the Tokyo Skytree.
It is the tallest building in Tokyo, offering great views of the metropolis as well as plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities. It is just a 5-7 minutes walk from the temple. I decided not to go since it’s visible from there (plus I’m enjoying my foodventure).
WHERE TO EAT
This restaurant was recommended by the lady who I brought my kimono from. According to her it’s one of the best places to eat Gyoza and Ramen. I loved the food and the service is excellent! Sad I couldn’t read Katakana/Hirigana (yet). I would love to recommend this too!
It’s surprising quiet even though the place packed. They have music playing during the day but I didn’t find it too loud and you could have a peaceful lunch. and the service is excellent! The crew are friendly and accommodating. When they first heard me speak English, they immediately handed me a translated version of their menu. They happily gave me recommendations.
GYOZA (Y290). The underside of the gyoza is a bit burnt, but fortunately, that doesn’t dominate the overall taste. Instead, it gives the dumplings a nice toasty crunch.
OCHORON RAMEN (Y780). This is absolutely delicious. It is hot and spicy with chives, cabbage and is topped with slices of pork. This is good for 2 person (and I finished it, don’t judge me).
Their YAKISOBA is scrumptious. The quality is evident in its excellent texture. Firm to the bite and pleasantly chewy, these noodles were great to slurp up.
Me waiting for my food. 😀
Unlike my first, which I only spent an hour and that’s just to see the Senso-Ji Temple. Because it was raining too so I didn’t get to roam around. My second trip to Asakusa is truly memorable and fun. I spent the whole afternoon riding the rickshaw, talking to locals and fellow travelers, exploring the busy streets and stores (even bought a Yukata) and trying their food. I’ll definitely go back to explore more.
Have you been to Asakusa? What activities did you enjoy? Would you visit this beautiful place in the future? I’d like to know in the comments below.
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