In my last post 'Exploring Asakusa, the Entertainment District of Tokyo' I shared my experience of visiting the largest and the oldest entertainment district of Tokyo, where you can still watch Geisha Shows and traditional Japanese theater. Asakusa has changed a lot from its golden period, Edo Era. Today besides being the spiritual and entertainment hub of Tokyo it is also the Kitchen capital of Tokyo. There is a lot to be explored there. Make sure you don't just scratch the surface.
Here are some personally experienced travel tips to make the maximum out of your Asakusa Tour.
HOW TO GET THERE
Asakusa is served by the Ginza Subway Line, Asakusa Subway Line, Tsukuba Express and Tobu Railways. Buy a 24 hours unlimited rides Subway pass for 600 JPY.
- From Tokyo Station: Take the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station (2 minutes, 140 yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen)
- From Shinjuku Station: Take the orange JR Chuo Lineto Kanda Station (10 minutes, 170 yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen)
WHAT TO DO
- Shrines: Visit the most famous and oldest Shrines of Tokyo like Sensōji Temple, Gojūnoto, Asakusa Jinja and Chingodo Shrine among many more. If possible club your tour with Sanja Matsuri festival (May) or Asakusa Samba Carnival (August)
- Landmarks: See the aerial views of Sensoji Temple, Nakamise Shopping Street, Tokyo Skytree, Asahi Beer Tower and Asahi Super Dry Hall with its characteristic Flamme d'Or (locally known as Golden poop) from the observation deck of Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center
- Shop: Buy your kitchenware stock and fake food samples from the Kappabashi-dori market. Buy knives engraved with your name at Kamata Hakanesha. You can also rent Kimonos here
- Eat: Try Ningyouyaki, Melon bread, Fried manjuu, anmitsu, Shoba Noodles, Tempura bowl, and Ramen among other local delicacies
- River Cruise: Walk 5 minutes from the temple to take the Sumida River Cruise departing from the Asakusa Pier every 30 to 60 minutes to Hinode Pier via Hama Rikyu Garden. A cruise ticket for 980 JPY will get you a free entry to Hama Riku Garden where you can enjoy a traditional Japanese Teahouse experience
- Geishas: Look out for 45 actively working geishas in Tokyo's oldest geisha district
- Animal cafes: Move over the cat cafes and Dog cafes, Tokyo has cafes dedicated to goats, turtles, snakes, rabbits, roosters and owls. Do visit one in Asakusa
WHERE TO STAY
Asakusa is perfect for budget travelers because of its old world charm, downtown location, and relaxed atmosphere by Tokyo standards. Traditional Ryokans and hostels are easily available at economical price. I stayed at Oak Hostel Cabin. I loved my stay here. Conveniently located. Good staff. Equipped with all facilities.
WHERE TO GO NEXT
- Akihabara for electronics and otaku culture
- Shinjuku for night life and going to Mt. Fuji 5 Lkaes
- Shibuya for fashion and culture and Hachiko Dog Statue
- Harajuku for fashion and cosplay
- Kinugawa: a hot spring resort fallen on hard times
- Nikko: with its national parks and opulent shrines
- 5 lakes: for viewing and hiking Mt. Fuji