When you search for popular tourist attractions in Tokyo, you probably see the name Asakusa popping up on any travel website. Asakusa is an old, relatively small area that is popular among tourists, both domestic and international. The most famous spot would be Kaminarimon which is the red gate with the red big lantern hanging in front of Senso-ji temple. Asakusa gives you a great opportunity to experience the traditional side of Japan, but also new things to see and enjoy. In this article, we will introduce a 1-day itinerary in Asakusa and give you some advice and tips!
- How to get to Asakusa by train
- Start your day in Asakusa at Sensō-ji Temple
- Pray first, and then enjoy looking around the shopping street!
- Take a picture with Kaminarimon Gate!
- Want to try something exciting? Asakusa Rickshaw ride is waiting for you!
- Gaze over Tokyo from Tokyo Skytree
- Golden Flame of Asahi Brewery
- Cruise over Sumida River and take the best shot of Tokyo Skytree from the river!
- Bar hopping like a local at Hoppy Street
- Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Tokyo
- Recommended Hotels in Asakusa
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How to get to Asakusa by train
If you take trains to get to Asakusa from where you stay, there are four lines that you can. The best and most convenient one is called The Toei Asakusa Line, operated by Toei Subway. The nearest station, Asakusa station, is within walking distance from the famous Senso-ji Temple (we will talk more about this spot later), and you can reach other attractive sightseeing spots, such as Tokyo Skytree which is also along the line, easily.
Start your day in Asakusa at Sensō-ji Temple
Sensō-ji Temple is an old, Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. It was unfortunately burned down by fire during World War Ⅱ but was rebuilt later. This is a very popular tourist spot in Tokyo and you can try Omikuji (fortune telling) here! An omikuji is a fortune-telling paper strip. At Sensoji they are written in both Japanese and English so even if you cannot read Japanese you will be able to understand it. If you get a bad luck Omikuji, you can tie Omikuji to the temple, so that the bad luck will also stay there. Many people visit Sensō-ji also for Hatsumode. Hatsumode is the old custom to visit the temple on the first day of the new year. If you stay in Japan during New Year, this would be a quite new experience for you. Asakusa Sensoji Temple is open 24 hours, and visitors are access freely at day and night.
Here is a little fun fact. There is a big incense pot Jokoro in front of the temple and you will see many people around it trying to get covered by smoke. Originally this habit started by purifying the body before entering the temple. From that, people started to believe that the smoke has a healing effect. Today, visitors will try to get themselves covered by smoke hoping that they will be in better shape or get smarter.
Pray first, and then enjoy looking around the shopping street!
As you can imagine, Sensoji Temple is so popular that it gets super crowded quite easily, especially on weekends. But also on weekdays, the place can be full of people. In order to avoid the crowds, we recommend that you go there early in the morning, preferably around 9am. As mentioned before, the temple is open 24 hours and visitors can pray at any time convenient to them. There is a long, famous shopping street called Nakamise-dori, leading to the temple, and most of the shops open around 9am.
Nakamise-dori has played a central part in people visiting the Sensoji temple since the late 17th century. It’s considered to be one of the oldest shopping streets in Japan. There are about 90 stores where you can get some small things to eat and souvenirs. Our recommendations would be Japanese sweets using sweet potatoes, fried Manju which is a filling of red bean paste, rice crackers, and the famous Ningyo-yaki (Little baked doll cake). They sell a large variety of goods including Japanese traditional food and snacks that satisfy your appetite and might be a perfect souvenir for your friends. You can get a bag to carry them around, but it is better to go to the temple and pray first so that you don’t have to walk around with your hands full!
Take a picture with Kaminarimon Gate!
Have you ever seen a picture of a huge, red lantern hanging from an impressive gate that stands at the entrance of Nakamise Street? The gate is called Kaminarimon Gate or Thunder Gate, and is loved as an iconic symbol with the lantern in Sensoji Temple. You will get surprised by the actual size of the lantern, and you will also see many people taking pictures of the gate. On either side, you can see two huge statues, the figure on the left is the God of Thunder, and on the right, is the Wind God. Together they are guarding the entrance gate to the shrine.
Want to try something exciting? Asakusa Rickshaw ride is waiting for you!
Thanks to its size and reliable transport, you don’t need to worry about the delay in your schedule in Asakusa. But if you want to try out something unforgettable and fun, we suggest taking a rickshaw ride? You will enjoy a relaxing, personal tour on a special two-wheeled vehicle called a rickshaw with a guide, called a puller. It is definitely a memorable, unique experience for you!
Check out our private tour on Rickshaw!
Gaze over Tokyo from Tokyo Skytree
A complete itinerary should include some modern, cool attractions as well. After exploring the Sensoji Temple area, you can go back to Asakusa station to take the Toei Asakusa Line again. It is only two more stops until you get to the Tokyo Skytree station (also known as “Oshiage Station”). If you prefer to walk and enjoy the nature surrounding the area, it is only a 15 to 20-minute walk to Tokyo Skytree from Asakusa.
Tokyo Skytree was built in 2011 and is also known as the tallest structure at 64 meters tall. It also functions as a broadcasting tower, but many people know it as an observatory and shopping complex. The bottom part of the tower consists of several shops and facilities such as restaurants, souvenir shops, parking spaces, and helpful information counters. On the upper floors, there are nice cafes, fancy restaurants, and an amazing observation deck that offers you a stunning, incomparable view. To enter the observation deck, you need to go and get a special admission ticket at the ticket center on the 4th floor.
Get your discounted tickets for Tokyo Skytree here
8am – 10pm (last admission 9pm)
Combi ticket from ¥3,100
Tembo Galleria from ¥1,000
Tembo Deck from ¥2,100
Golden Flame of Asahi Brewery
Asahi Breweries is one of the most popular beer companies in Japan with their head office located in the area. Try to spot the golden flame on the roof of the Super Dry Hall, when you walk along the river between Asakusa and Tokyo Skytree. The golden sculpture on the top of the building is actually a flame that represents the passion of the company. It was designed by French designer Philippe Starck to celebrate the company’s 100th years anniversary in 1989. In the building right next to it, there are beer restaurants and bars. Try Japanese beer and beer cocktails there and taste the difference from your country’s! Don’t forget to take another look at the outside: it looks like a full beer glass!
Cruise over Sumida River and take the best shot of Tokyo Skytree from the river!
If you want to take the best shot of Tokyo Skytree itself, Sumida River Cruise offers you a perfect opportunity to make it happen!
They operate several types of cruise ships and one of the pier locations is close to Sensoji Temple. It takes you to other sightseeing destinations in Tokyo like Odaiba Seaside Park, Hamarikyu Garden, Toyosu, and more! They offer four cruise routes from Asakusa, and you can have a great view of Tokyo Skytree, no matter what route you take! The design of the outside appearance of the tower is definitely worth paying for the cruise!
Sumida River Cruise (Tokyo Cruise) Official Website
Bar hopping like a local at Hoppy Street
Hoppy Street is a beloved Izakaya alley where locals gather to drink and savor delicious Japanese cuisine in a traditional ambiance in Asakusa. To make the most out of the experience, book our Asakusa Bar Hopping Tour with a knowledgeable guide who will lead you to their favorite Izakaya and navigate you through this vibrant street. Don’t miss out on the great food and sake; our guide will ensure that you get to taste all of these amazing drinks and dishes!
Did you know that the name ‘Hoppy’ is derived from a drink that tastes like beer but has very low alcohol content? This drink originated in Tokyo and became popular during the post-war era. If you want to try some Hoppy, Hoppy Street is the perfect place to go. Make sure to grab a bottle when you visit Hoppy Street.
Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Tokyo
Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan.
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are traveling in, our knowledgeable and friendly guides will happily take you to the best spots!
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help!
▶Tokyo Fish Market Tour @Tsukiji – Enjoy Local Food and Drink
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo, where you will have the chance to try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake along with your friendly English-speaking guide!
▶Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.
▶Asakusa Local Bar Hopping Tour (Evening Tour)
Visit some of the local’s favorite Izakaya and bars and enjoy Tokyo’s drinking scene with your friendly guide. You will visit a few fun bars to introduce you to Japanese sake, food, and monja-yaki (one of Tokyo’s specialties). Kampai (cheers)!
Find the Other Tours
If you want to make travel easier, we suggest you look into tour packages.There are a wide range of tour packages out there to suit the accomodate for each traveler needs. Click the button below to find the best tour package from various Tour Operators!
Recommended Hotels in Asakusa
Some might think Asakusa is too popular and ordinary as a sightseeing destination ,and there is nothing new or exiting. Actually, this area is full of excitement and provides new discoveries every time we visit. Let’s immerse yourself into a deep, traditional area which is still developing in accordance with the times and changes!
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