When you search 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!
- Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Tokyo
- Recommended Hotels in Asakusa
- Articles you may also like
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 a 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 7th century. It was unfortunately burned down by fire during the 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 strips. 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 temple on the first day of the new year. If you stay in Japan during New Years, this would be a quite new experience for you. Asakusa Sensoji Temple is open for 24 hours, and the 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 from 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 a 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 the central part for 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 used sweet potatoes, fried Manju which is filling of red beans paste, rice crackers and the famous Ningyo-yaki (Little baked doll cake). They sell 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 loved as an iconic symbol with the lantern in Sensoji Temple. You will get surprised by the actual size of the lantern is, 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, on the right, 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 on 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 rickshaw with a guide, called puller. It is definitely a memorable, unique experience for you!
Gaze over Tokyo from Tokyo Skytree
A complete itinerary should include some modern, cool attractions as well. After exploring 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 also known the tallest structure at 64 meter 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, and parking space, 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 4th floor.
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 company’s 100th years anniversary in 1989. In the building right next 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 on 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!
Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Tokyo
Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency offering guided tours in Japan.
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we will organize the best tours for you! If you want to explore Japan to learn more histories and backstories of the area, our knowledgeable and friendly guide will happily take you to the best spots!
Also, we can provide you with any assistance for your upcoming trip in Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions/need some help!
▶Tokyo Food and Drink Tour @ Tsukiji and Asakusa
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo to grab some local’s favorite street foods, fresh sushi, and sake with a friendly guide in the morning. Then move to the Asakusa area to enjoy the traditional Japanese townscape and try Japanese sweets!
▶Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore the area than being with a knowledgeable guide. You can learn the history and background story of the town, and discover some hidden gems which can be difficult to find otherwise.
▶Asakusa Local Bar Hopping Tour (Evening Tour)
Visit local’s favorite Izakaya bars and enjoy Tokyo’s drinking scene with a guide. We visit a couple of bars to introduce you to the Japanese sake, foods, and monja-yaki (Tokyo’s specialty food). Kampai (cheers)!
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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