Asakusa is a historic temple town which dates back over 1000 years, today it is one of Japan’s few traditional quarters and is a hugely popular tourist destination.
Thousands flock to the Senso-jo temple which although rebuilt after the war, dates back to the 6th century.
The area is also home to a lot of small time entertainment with small carnival parks, cinemas, and the conspicuous strip clubs and pachinko parlours.
Asakusa is a fantastic place to pick up traditional Japanese gifts, from fans, lanterns and lacquered goods. There is quite a few market like stalls in the streets surrounding the temple.
Asakusa is located on the north-east fringe of Central Tokyo. It is located at the eastern end of the Ginza subway line and is situated in what is called the low city on the banks of the Sumida-gawa River. It is an extremely old area of Tokyo with quite a bit of history attached to it, and is well worthy of a visit.
Below is a map of Asakusa with the major attractions numbered. Asakusa sits just outside the loop of the Yamanote Line one suburb over from Ueno. The Ginza line of the Tokyo Metro is probably the best bet to get to Asakusa if you get off at Asakusa Station you can check out the nearby Asahi beer headquarters, Senso-ji Temple and walk up to the kitchen district of Kappanbashi-Dori.You could then return via the Ginza line at Tawaramachi Station.
Asahi Beer Headquarters
The Asahi Beer Headquarters is one of the most intriguing architectural wonders in Tokyo. There are two main buildings, the biggest building standing 100 meters tall resembles a giant beer jug complete with a foam shaped white roof. The shorter building is known as the Super Dry Hall. It is a black building in the shape of a beer glass, with an enormous golden flame shaped object perched on top.
For an engaging shopping excursion, visit the restaurant wholesale district known as Kappabashi-dori in Tokyo’s Asakusa. The area sells all sorts of fascinating things including the remarkable plastic food known as sampuru, which can be seen in most restaurants around Tokyo. There is everything you could ever imagine needing in a restaurant from cookers to spatulas, chefs costume to plates and knives.
Also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, Sensoji is a massive Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, and is one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist attractions. The Temple dates back to 645, making it also Tokyo’s oldest temple. The temple building was actually rebuilt in 1958, after burning down in the Tokyo bombing of 1945.
The Tokyo Skytree, or Tokyo Sukaitsuri, is currently the second tallest structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Standing at a height of 630 metres, the tower opened to the public in May of 2012 after nearly four years of construction and a cost of some 40 billion yen.