ASAKUSA

Experience the Nostalgic Side of Tokyo

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THE SKINNY

Asakusa is a great spot to soak in Japanese culture. We know it's a tourist spot and alway crowded but we go there once in a while to feel like we are in Japan. We can't deny that you see more tourists (including Japanese tourists) than locals at Senso-ji and Nakamise area but once you step a little outside you feel a traditional atmosphere. For those who love drinking, go hang out at Hoppy Street (as in a picture below) and enjoy getting to know locals.

One great thing about Asakusa is that they offer variety types of accommodations from reasonable hostels to Japanese traditional ryokan hotels. Whether you are coming with a big family or with a love one, you will find a good hotel that suit your situation. Other cool sights like Sumida Park, Tokyo Skytree, and Ueno Park are nearby. 

STATION INFO

 photo credit: http://qt-yoshimoto.ai-plus.com/blog/?tag=central-tokyo-tokyo

photo credit: http://qt-yoshimoto.ai-plus.com/blog/?tag=central-tokyo-tokyo

There are 4 Asakusa Station by different train lines - Toei Asakusa Line, Metro Ginza Line, Tobu Skytree Line, and Tsukuba Express (TX). Each stations are not located the same place, so you need to check which one you're going to. It's a big confusing for Tokyo beginners, so let me simplify it for you guys.


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1. Toei Asakusa Line 

There is a direct train to Narita and Haneda airport but a funny thing is they don't have an elevator, so lifting luggage on stairs can't be avoided. The closest exit to go to Senso-ji is A4 exit. Get off Oshiage to go to Skytree.

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2. Metro Ginza Line

Asakusa Station is the start/end station of Ginza Line, so you can always find a seat! Exit 1 is the closest to Senso-ji. Take Ginza Line to get to Ueno, Kanda, Ginza, Omotesando, and Shibuya. 

skytree

3. Tobu Skytree Line

This runs above the ground and its platform is on EKIMISE 2F. As you see it's in the name, Tobu Skytree Line will take you to Skytree ... in 3 minutes (only 1 stop)! 

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4. Tsukuba Express (TX)

TX is the only line that doesn't require a transit to Akihabara. Only 4 minutes (2 stops). But remember its station is located on Kokusai-Dori, a bit far from 3 other stations and Senso-ji. It's reeeeeally deep underground, so leave early if you're meeting someone.


10 Things to Do in ASAKUSA

1. Enjoy Street Food at Nakamise Dori

things to do in asakusa
things to do in asakusa

Nakamise Dori is the street run from the Kaminari Gate to Sensoji where you find old fashion Japanese sweets and souvenir shops. Some say that it is a tourist trap but locals still go to enjoy the street food.  (Just don't buy souvenirs. Many of them like Yukata and T-shirt are not even real and over priced.)  I have written details on Best 5 Destinations for Street Food in Tokyo so make sure to read it.

2. Senso-ji

You walk alone Nakamise Dori, you will get to one of the biggest temple in Tokyo, Senso-ji.  Gotta check it out!

3. Walk Around in Kimono

things to do in asakusa

You can alway rental in Kimono/Yukata shops and they are quite reasonable. You can choose the designs and they will put it on for you.  Some of them have group discounts or couple discounts so check out their website.

4. NostaLgic Side STREETS

asakusa things to do

If Sensoji is the head of Asakusa, the side streets are the heart and soul. Check it out and you’ll feel like you’ve Marty McFly’d to Edo world! There are many cool streets to check out like a list below.

5. MONJA for LUNCH

asakusa things to do

My favorite things to do in Asakusa is to eat MONJA!!  It's a type of Japanese pan-fried butter and very popular in old side of Tokyo.  These are the ones I always go to (and they have English menus.)

6. Retro Theme Park HANAYASHIKI

things to do in asakusa

Hanayashiki is a theme park that locals are in love since 1853.  One of the roller coaster there is the oldest roller coaster in Japan!  Admission fee is only 1,000 yen for adults (500yen for kids) without ride pass. 

7. SUMIDA PARK

things to do in asakusa sumida park

If you want to chill a little after walking around the streets of Asakusa, Sumida Park may be the perfect place. As I covered in my YouTube video: Top 10 Cherry Blossom Tokyo Spots, Sumida Park is a popular destination during Cherry blossom season. 

8. Hoppy Street

things to do in asakusa

Hoppy Street is a place to drink in Asakusa.  'Hoppy' is a beer flavored drink which is a mix of soju and beer flavor soda.  Drinking that cheap hoppy in a drinking food stalls was popular back in the days.  Locals start drinking during the day on weekend and it is fun to drink with them!

9. PICTURE TIME ON AZUMA BASHI

things to do in asakusa

Azuma Bashi is a red bridge where you can take the best picture of the Skytree, Asahi Beer golden statue, and the cruze ships on Sumida River.  

10. YAkATABUNE 

yakatabune asakusa things to do

Restaurant Cruise, A.K.A, Yakatabune is one way to finish up the night in Asakusa. Back in the days, high ranked samurai and rich merchants used to party it up in the luxurious boat on Sumida river.  Now you know how to party like a samurai.  There’s wide variety of cruise companies and different meal plans with without all you can eat. Most plan come with all-you-can-drink or all-you-can-eat.

Asakusa Video

Asakusa Map


ASAKUSA HOTELS

Here are the 3 of my recommendations for accommodations that I actually have been to.  

1. The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon

asakusa hotel

Recommended if you prioritize: access to subway station and Sensoji area, view of Skytree and breakfast quality

The lowest room rate for 2 ranges: 141 - 256 USD

We actually filmed our stay here so you can take a look how it actually looks in our video.  

This hotel is well-designed, fairly new and traveler friendly hotel.  All of the hotel staff speaks English so you don't have to worry about anything here.  The hotel is located in front of Kaminarimon and within 5-minute walk from all of subway stations. (Tsukuba Express is 8-minute walk)  One of the highlight of this hotel is that you can see Sky Tree from the lobby and the bar on the 13th floor, top floor terrace and some of the rooms.  

In addition, I love their breakfast. It is top-notch.  Their Curry Benedict (picture below) won a award of Breakfast Festival in Tokyo and it sure was tasty!

I recommend this hotel because of its cost efficiency.

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asakusa hotel

Recommended if you prioritize: access to Hanayashiki and Sensoji, view of Skytree, Halal meal options

The lowest room rate for 2 ranges: 86 - 269 USD

If you are planning on spending a lot of time in Asakusa area, Richmond Hotel is a great place to stay.  It's only 1 minute walk from Sensoji and Hanayashiki. Also, other cool spots are very close by.  It's right next to Tsukuba Express station but the only time to use this line is when you go to Akihabara.  If you are going out of Asakusa, you basically have to walk 8-10 minutes to take subway, which is actually not too bad.  

This hotel offers a big breakfast buffet and Halal meal option.  Man, I love how hotels in Asakusa is international friendly!  In side of the building, they have souvenir shops and restaurants.  Very convinient!

3. Bunka Hostel TOkyo

asakusa hotel

Recommended if you prioritize: price, price and price

The lowest room rate for 2 ranges: 34 - 56 USD

This Hostel can be found right in the middle of local shopping area which is very close to Nakamise-Dori.  When I first saw this hostel, I thought it was a trendy bar restaurant newly opened because it looks very modern and cool.  

There are several hostels in Asakusa area but Bunka Hostel Tokyo is not one of those dirty old hostel that you would image.  They have various types of room options from female floor rooms to family rooms.