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Asakusa

2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0032, Japan
+81 3-3842-0181
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Asakusa Tokyo  Japan
Step Back in Time at Tokyo’s Temples and Shrines Tokyo  Japan
Neighborhood Walks: Traverse Tokyo Like a Local Tokyo  Japan
Sensoji Samba Tokyo  Japan
Kid Friendly Japanese Food Tokyo  Japan
Puffer Fish Sashimi, a Lethal Enjoyment Tokyo  Japan
American Geisha Tokyo  Japan
Asakusa Tokyo  Japan
Asakusa Tokyo  Japan
Step Back in Time at Tokyo’s Temples and Shrines Tokyo  Japan
Neighborhood Walks: Traverse Tokyo Like a Local Tokyo  Japan
Sensoji Samba Tokyo  Japan
Kid Friendly Japanese Food Tokyo  Japan
Puffer Fish Sashimi, a Lethal Enjoyment Tokyo  Japan
American Geisha Tokyo  Japan
Asakusa Tokyo  Japan

Asakusa

In this historic district not far from the Sumidagawa River, the Sensoji temple has a past that can be traced back 1,300 years. The gate with the large red lantern, Kaminarimon, is the starting point to the colorful pedestrian open-air market Nakamise Dori. Vendors tempt visitors with the aroma of fresh-grilled traditional wagashi sweets packed with sweet azuki bean paste, sembei rice crackers roasted over charcoal, and souvenirs like fans and kimonos. For artisanal crafts and gifts, head down the street to the Marugoto Nippon complex. The area is filled with traditional eateries, in particular ones serving tempura, soba, and unagi. If visiting in spring, be sure to walk along the river, whose banks are lined with blooming sakura cherry trees.

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AFAR Local Expert
over 5 years ago

Step Back in Time at Tokyo’s Temples and Shrines

The curved eaves of Tokyo’s intricate Buddhist temples and the orange tori gates of the Shinto shrines endure as reminders of the city’s over four hundred year history. Walk beneath the massive gates of Meiji-jingu, Tokyo’s largest Shinto shrine, and transport back to the time of shogun and samurai. Receive an omikuji (fortune) at Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple, but beware these fortunes can be curses or blessings. Surrounding Sensoji is Nakamise-dori, the central street in the centuries old shopping district with shops offering kimonos, fans, and tapestries among other traditional goods.
AFAR Local Expert
over 5 years ago

Neighborhood Walks: Traverse Tokyo Like a Local

Tokyo, like most cities, is best explored on foot. Shibuya crossing, the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world, is packed with shopping complexes, billboards, and giant screens blaring advertisements. From Shibuya, follow Meiji Dori straight to the heart of the eclectic, fashion forward Harajuku. The narrow, pedestrian friendly streets of Harajuku are a likely location to spot teens in anime costumes and eccentric fashion. Asakusa, situated along the Sumida River, has an old world feel with stalls selling traditional goods and great views of the towering Tokyo Skytree and infamous Asahi Beer Hall (also known as “the golden turd”). In Ueno Koen discover shrines tucked behind tree lined paths and a multitude of museums worth exploring.
AFAR Local Expert
over 5 years ago

Sensoji Samba

The Samba Festival has been held every year toward the end of August since its inception in 1981 and features Samba dancers regaled in all kinds of flamboyant and unique costumes while shaking their booties in ways that would make Miley Cyrus blush. The parade, which extends from Sensoji Temple to Tawaramachi Station on the Ginza subway line, also features many colorful and creative floats reminiscent of Carnival in Rio, and the 3,500-odd participants range from professional samba dancers who gather from as far away as Brazil to compete for prizes to amateurs who just want the chance to strut their stuff. As might be expected, it gets crowded, with an average of 500,000 spectators annually. Get a spot early or bring a folding stepladder, a favorite trick of photographers trying to get unobstructed shots of the action.
AFAR Local Expert
over 5 years ago

Kid Friendly Japanese Food

Whether kids are up for adventurous eating or only want simple food, Tokyo has it all. For the noodle lovers there is a variety of ramen, soba (buckwheat noodles), and udon (thick wheat noodles). Tokyo Station’s Ramen Street has eight of Tokyo’s best ramen shops and shoyu ramen is a popular favorite. For snacks while in transit, vending machines are easy to find and offer a variety of hot or cold beverages, candy, and ice cream cones. Tokyo has a range of kid-friendly dishes including, yakisoba (fried noodles), yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), and taiyaki (fished shaped cakes filled with red bean paste). Soft serve ice cream and hamburgers are also easy to come by and Freshness Burger is one of Tokyo’s most popular burger chains.
over 5 years ago

Puffer Fish Sashimi, a Lethal Enjoyment

Puffer Fish (Tetraodontidae), famous for its poison, is really a lethal enjoyment of food. The restaurants that serve puffer fish must obtain the licenses. Therefore, only a limited number of puffer fish specialty restaurants exist out there. There are many options on the menu: puffer fish sashimi, puffer fish skin, puffer fish soup, and so on. It's a leap of faith for that first bite, but a must if you visit Japan.
over 5 years ago

American Geisha

As soon as I got off the plane in Tokyo, a camera crew approached my girlfriend & me. Turns out they were with a tourism show and wanted to know what we came to Tokyo to see. Maybe it was the jetlag coupled with excitement, but I wildly said, "Get transformed into a Geisha!" After a few laughs the translator scribbled the name of a studio onto a piece of paper. And Voila - I had the absolute pleasure of being a Geisha for a day!
AFAR Local Expert
about 3 years ago

Asakusa

Asakusa was once Tokyo’s top entertainment district, and today it's still crowded with locals and travelers visiting one of Tokyo's most famous sites, Senso-ji. Heavily damaged during World War II and ultimately rebuilt, Senso-ji is the city's oldest Buddhist temple, dating to 645 C.E. Asakusa’s neighboring district, Ginza, arose in the 16th century in a former swamp, but looking at it today, you’d never guess—it’s Tokyo’s glitziest neighborhood. Check out the Wako Department Store, in a stately 1932 neo-Renaissance-style building, as well as boutiques from some of Japan's and the world's leading contemporary architects: Hermès (designed by Renzo Piano), Louis Vuitton (Jun Aoki) and Mikimoto (Toyo Ito).