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Asakusa – Nakamise

Asakusa is known for it’s old town atmosphere and historic Buddhist temples. It’s a fun area to explore and the center of most of the activity is around the centuries old Asakusa Kannon Temple, or Sensoji.

The first thing that you notice when you get to Asakusa is the Kaminarimon Gate. Take a moment to wander around the gate itself to check out all of the ornamentation and then pass through it and your will be on the Nakamise, a quaint shopping area that leads to the Sensoji itself.

Make sure you take some time to explore the various shops on the Nakamise as you can take care of most of your souvenir shopping in one place. Everything from postcards to Japanese snacks, masks, dolls, toys and even happi coats (short Kimono style coat) and Yukata (casual Kimono, usually made of cotton) can be purchased here.

At the end of the Nakamise is the second gate (a smaller version of the Kaminarimon) which leads to the temple itself.

To get to the Asakusa area take the JR Yamanote line to Kanda from the Tokyo Station. Transfer to the TokyoMetro-Ginza line and take that train to the Asakusa station. Travel time is approximately 18 minutes and the train fair is Y290 or just under $3USD. Set aside at least half a day to wander through all the sights in Asakusa – there’s a lot to see!

Photo Credit: Personal Collection