Things to do in Asakusa, Tokyo

Well known for being where the most famous temples in Tokyo are located, Asakusa is surrounded by the traditional beauty of Japan. Here you can see the famous giant red lantern, Kaminarimon, and stroll through traditional souvenir shops of the Nakamise shopping street, and even end your evening at the famous Tokyo Skytree. Whether it is your first time in Japan or a frequent visitor, Asakusa is one of the must-go places in Japan.

Sensoji Temple (浅草寺)

With its history dating back to 1300 years ago, the temple is one of the most famous in Japan, attracting 30 million visitors every year. The history goes back to the 7th century when two fishermen found the golden statue of Kannon Bodhisattva. The Sensoji temple was built after to house this statue. Senso-ji Temple is a very popular place for people to say prayers because it is believed that the Kannnon possesses a great power to give people help and advice.


Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate 雷門)

The symbol of Senso-ji Temple and also the famed landmark of Asakusa, Kaminarimon or the “Thunder Gate” is one of the most-photographed places in Tokyo. The Wind God and Thunder God, two Powerful Guardian Gods can be seen at the gate.


Nakamise Shopping Street (仲見世)

The first thing you see as you pass through the Kaminarimon, 89 traditional shops are spread throughout the 205 meters long Nakamise Shopping Street. It is known as one of the oldest shopping streets in Japan. The shops sell various items, from wooden dolls to postcards, it is a perfect place to buy souvenirs in Japan.


Five Story Pagoda (五重塔)


It is said that at the top of the five stories tall building, the ashes of the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha is stored. Each roof has its own elemental meaning, such as earth, water, fire, wind, and air. The view of the pagoda is especially beautiful at night.


Incense Burner

The vapors given up by the incense is believed to have the power to purify and heal, which is why people offer incense sticks here. The smoke needs to have contact with your body for you to take in its healing power. Just move the smoke towards any parts of your body that needs curing and it will surely be cured!


Temizuya (手水舎)

Before you enter into the main hall of Senso-ji Temple, you must first purify yourselves as the washbasin. Here are the steps you need to follow in order to properly purify yourself.

1 : First, with the ladle, scoop some water.

2 : Next, in order of left then right, wash your hand

3 : After that, make a cup with your left hand, scoop up some more water with the ladle, and pour it into your left hand.

4 : Then, rinse your mouth, making sure not to drink the water

5 : Finally, clean the handle with the water left inside the ladle.


Main Hall

The main hall is where the holy statue of Kannon Bodhisattva is enshrined. However since it is a hidden Buddha, it is a holy item and therefore you are not allowed to look upon it.


Asakusa Jinja Shrine (浅草神社)


A festival called Sanja Matsuri is held every May at the Asakusa Shrine, in this festival, portable shrines called Mikoshi are carried on the shoulder by Asakusa people, it is one of the three most popular festivals in Tokyo. The Asakusa Jinja shrine itself is dedicated to the three founders of Senso-ji, the two fishermen who found the Kannon Bodhisattva statue and their master. The Sanja Matsuri is held to honor the founder of the shrine.


Omikuji (おみくじ Fortune-telling)

In slips of paper, fortunes are written at different levels, excellent fortune, good fortune, so-so fortune and bad fortune, these papers are called Omikuji. Available also a special place where you can tie your bad fortune, in case you get them.


Kappabashi Wholesale Street (合羽橋)

Located near the Senso-ji Temple, Kappabashi is a wholesale street with over 150 stores. It is known for the fake food samples and it is a place where you can find everything you can decorate your kitchen with.


Tokyo Skytree

It is about 634 meters tall and is the world’s tallest free-standing broadcasting tower. It was opened in May 2012 and is one of the most famous destinations for travelers in Japan. From there you can see the beautiful view of Tokyo from the building known as the new symbol of Tokyo.

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