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Monday, September 18, 2023

TRAVEL: 7 Things To Do In Asakusa

Asakusa is one of the most popular and well-visited district in Tokyo because this place is steeped in history, having survived the WWII bombings and such. This area has also more or less retained its 'Showa' influence. 

Sharing here my list of seven (7) things to go in Asakusa:

1. Senso-ji Temple is the oldest temple in Tokyo which was built in 645AD (google info). It is a Buddhist temple that's popular amongst the locals and tourists. Senso-ji is quite a sight to see but one needs to pass the Kaminarimon Gate (Thunder Gate) to experience its grandeur especially for first-time visitors. From the thunder gate, just go straight ahead till you reach Hozomon Gate, then the temple. Btw, it is nice to visit Senso-ji Temple both in broad daylight, and late at night. 

2. Nakamise Shopping Street. Hello souvenirs! This is literally the whole stretch from Kaminarimon up to Hozomon Gate of Senso-ji Temple. You need to allot more than two hours here if you really want to look at everything. Bring enough cash also since most of the shops here doesn't accept cards. 

3. Asakusa Hanayashiki Amusement Park. Hanayashiki claims to be the oldest amusement park in Tokyo. Although not as well-known as Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, Sanrio PuroLand or Ghibli Museum, Asakusa Hanayashiki Amusement Park has a charm of its own. 

4. Asakusa Underground Street. Going to Asakusa Underground Street is a different kind of experience, something that you're not expecting in Japan! No kidding. Also, I'm not gonna tell what's in-store for you at Asakusa Underground Street so as not to spoil the fun. Simply look for the entrance at Ekimise Mall. 

5. Asakusa Tourist Information Center. This is often bypassed because of Shibuya Sky's popularity. But if you want to see Tokyo skyline when you're in Asakusa, don't forget to visit this building which is just near Kaminarimon Gate. And if the sky is clear and you're lucky, you'll get to see the elusive Mt. Fuji. Entrance here is FREE also. Yey! 

6. Batting Stadium. Baseball is the number 1 favorite sport of Japanese and it would be cool to watch an actual baseball game. And if you want to experience the game yourself, there's a batting stadium in Asakusa and it's open till late at night. This is quite fun actually, great bonding activity or even for solo traveller. 

7. Kimono / Rickshaw Ride. This is a bit expensive and you need to book a slot especially for the Kimono rental because it entails a stylist who will fix your hair and the obi. But it's definitely worth it. Best season though is during spring or Sakura season so that you can have you photo taken under the cherry blossoms. The rickshaw ride though is also a different level of experience. Except like the kimono rental, it can create a dent on your budget.


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