10 things to do in Asakusa   浅草のマスト

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Asakusa Engei hall

Examples of fake food, shokuhin sampuru

Crockery for sale in Kappabashi

Kaminari okoshi, sold at Tokiwado

The Electric Brandy of Kamiya Bar

The futuristic Himiko boat bus leaves from Asakusa and takes you to Odaiba on the Sumida River

Hanayashiki, the oldest amusement park in Japan

The other side to Asakusa

What is there to do after visiting Senso-ji? Stroll along the Sumida River, or find something more exciting to do in this old neighbourhood that is far less tranquil than it may appear...

Asakusa is well known for its temples, including the famous Senso-ji, and being so old the neighbourhood can feel more traditional than the rest of Tokyo.

In the Edo period, the area was already a hotbed of popular entertainment, and you can still visit some of the attractions that were so popular at the time:

Asakusa Engei Hall

A theatre for rakugo (humorous literary spectacle) or comedy shows, the magic flows all day here, from 11am to 9pm for a single price of 2800 yen. The famous Takeshi Kitano started his career here!

1-43-12 Asakusa, +81 (0) 3-3841-6545

Hanayashiki

The oldest amusement park in Japan. Twenty attractions are enjoyed by children and adults alike. Rollercoasters wind through closely packed buildings. For fans of ninja, go to the Ninja Dojo Taiken, where ninja technique lessons are taught (45min for 2000 yen) Booking is recommended, and can be done onsite.

2-28-1 Asakusa +81 (0) 3-3842-8780

The heart of the artisans

Asakusa is Tokyo's artisanal heart, and there are many museums and interesting workshops there, including:

Edo Shitamachi DENTO Kogeikan

A museum displaying all the art of ancient Tokyo (Edo). Artisan demonstrations are held every weekend. Open daily from 10am to 6pm, admission is free.

2-22-13 Asakusa +81 (0) 3-3842-1990

Kappabashi Dogugai

A street for merchants and restaurateurs - more than 170 shops are spread over 800 metres. It's a great place to find useful and unique souvenirs, such as traditional dishes, kitchenware (how about your name engraved on a knife blade?), bento boxes, nanbu tetsu teapots, and so on. It's even possible to find sanpuru shokuhin (サンプル食品), realistic-looking fake food made of wax or plastic. You'll probably have seen it before in restaurant windows in Japan. It makes a pretty fun gift!

3-18-2 Matsugaya +81 (0) 3-3841-5916

Bunodo

You will find traditional handmade Japanese fans of all kinds here. The majority of the customers of this store are professionals, especially in the world of kabuki or rakugo.

1-20-2 Asakusa +81 (0) 3-3841-0088

Izakaya paradise

If you want to relax or have a snack in Asakusa the best solution is to find an izakaya, a kind of traditional Japanese restaurant/bar that can be found throughout the neighborhood.

Asakusa Ichimon Honten

Feel like you're back in Tokyo in the 1900s, the soil is clay and the food is traditional Japanese vegetables.

3-12-6 Asakusa, Taito 111-0032 +81 (0) 33 87 56 800

Nakasei

Tempura is one of the specialties of Asakusa, savor those made at Nakasei: light and delicious.

1-39-13, Asakusa, Taito-ku, +81 (0) 3 3841 4015

Kamiya Bar

This has been an historic Asakusa bar since 1880. Taste the Denki Bran, or "electric brandy", whose name comes not only from the fact that when it was created, electricity was a novelty in the capital, but its alcohol level of 45% seriously stung the throat! Now dropped to 30%, it is slightly more bearable. The recipe for this original cocktail brandy base has been kept secret for 100 years.

1-1-1 Asakusa +81 (0) 3-3841-5400

Tokiwado

Right by Kaminarimon, enjoy some traditional kaminari okoshi at this 250 year-old shop. They are crispy puffed rice treats, and various flavors are on offer.

3-6-1 Asakusa +81 (0) 3-3876-5656

To discover Asakusa another way, why not take to the waters of Tokyo, on a boat on the Sumida River to Odaiba? Try the 50 minute cruise aboard the futuristic Himiko boat, created by Leiji Matsumoto (Galaxy 999 Albator 78 or Interstella 5555 with Daft Punk). The voices of the characters from Galaxy 999 guide you along the route.


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