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Asakusa is close to the centre of Tokyo and home to a number of impressive temples including the largest Buddhist Temple Sensoji.
Sensōji (浅草寺) Temple is visited by many Japanese and visitors to Tokyo. When you first approach Sensōji Temple you pass through Kaminarimon (雷門) or "Thunder Gate" with it's giant lantern and the statues of the guardian Gods Fujin (God of Wind) and Raijin (God of Thunder).
As well as the large Sensoji Temple and Thunder Gates there is an impressive pagoda located just to the side of the main temple. Also throughout the grounds are a number of smaller temples and shrines.
Senso-ji Rokkakudo is the oldest shrine found at Sensoji Temple dating back to 1618 in the early Edo period. This shrine is a hexagonal which is rare within Tokyo.
There is an interesting, small shrine called Zeniduka Jizoudou Hall. This is a shrine which houses stone sculptures of 'Roku-Jizou' . There was a man called Yamaguchi whose wife dug up a crock filled with 'Kanei-Tsuhou' which were the coins that were used in the Edo period. The wife feared that if the family relied on this money and did not work for a living that bad luck would come to her family so she buried the coins again. As a result of the hard work the family prospered and ended up building the shrine above the buried coins.
Just next to the grounds of the temple is a small amusement park with a number of different rides suitable for children.
During the Second World War Asakusa received heavy bombing from the Americans which resulted in 100,000 deaths here and the surrounding areas.
One of the more unusual festivals that occurs at Sensoji Temple is the annual Kanoki or 'baby-cry sumo' contest. Parents bring their babies to Sensoji Temple and sumo wrestlers hold the babies facing each other until they cry. The Japanese parents believe that the sumo wrestlers can make the babies cry out a wish for good health.
Hanayashiki Amusement Park
Hanayashiki Amusement Park is the oldest amusement park in Japan, starting in 1853. Located just behind Sensoki Temple the amusement park now has 20 amusement rides.
Asahi Headquarters Building
Directly across the Sumida river from where you get off the ferry at Asakusa is the Asahi Beer Company's head quarter building. There is nothing special about their headquarters being here except for the massive golden sculpture on the roof the building. The building is in the shape of a beer glass and the golden structure on top of the building is supposed to be a golden flame though may locals and tourists make up their own interpretation including calling it the golden turnip, golden chilli or the golden poo.
Last updated 24th June 2013
Nakamise shopping arcade Asakusa
As you pass through Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) you then walk along a long walkway which is the Nakamise shopping arcade which leads up to the main temple. This shopping arcade is lined with hundreds of small stalls that sell all types of souvenirs, clothing and food.
All throughout the grounds of Sensoji Temple are various statues depicting the Buddha, other Buddhist imagery as well as people from Japanese history.
There is also the impressive Shibaraku statue which is made from copper and depicts the 9th Danjuro Ichikawa (1838 - 1903) a famous Kabuki actor. The statue has him in this trademark pose of 'Shibaraku'.
Asakusa also is home to 2 other temples/shrines. Asakusa Shinja is a large Shinto shrine and Chingodo Shrine is dedicated to Chingodo, a racoon dog which is guardian against burglars and fire.
From Asakusa you can catch a ferry down the river to the entrance of the harbour and to Odaiba which has a number of tourists attractions including a large ferris wheel, Rainbow Bridge, Venus Fort (a Venice Themed shopping centre), Decks Tokyo Beach and Joypolis - a gaming centre run by Sega.
Hotels and Accommodation in Asakusa
2-1-5 Kaminarimon Taito-ku Tokyo Ph: 03 3842 8286. Located 1 minutes walk from Asakusa train station. Probably the cheapest hostel/hotel in Tokyo. 8 bed dormitory prices female dorm 2000 Yen per bed (around US$25 per night)
4 bed dormitory prices mixed dorm 2200 Yen
Twin private room 5000 Yen.Prices include tax and linen.
1-18-3 Higashi-Komagata Sumida-ku Tokyo Ph: 03 6658 8106. 5 minutes walk from Asakusa train station. Dormitory bed mixed room 2500 Yen per night. Single room 3500 Yen per night
Twin private room 6000 Yen per night. Quad room 10,000 Yen per night.Prices include tax and linen.
2-16-12 Nishi-Asakusa Taito-ku Tokyo Ph: 03 3844 5618. Traditional Japanese style hotel
Dormitory beds 2600 Yen per night. Single rooms from 4500 Yen per night. Double rooms from 6600 Yen per night. Accept Visa and Mastercard. Free computers with internet access. Free WiFi internet access.
Sakura Hostel 2-24-2 Asakusa Taito-Ku Tokyo Ph: +81 3 3847 8111. Located close to the famous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa Tokyo. Dormitory beds from 2,940 Yen per night. 1 week stay from 17,000 Yen, 2 weeks stay from 30,000 Yen.
Smile Hotel Asakusa (reviews) 6-35-8 Askusa Taito-ku Tokyo Ph: 5824 5533. Smile Hotel is a 2.5 star budget hotel located 10 minutes walk from Asakusa Train Station and Sensoji Temple. Room prices start from US$59 per night. For more photos and hotel reviews for Smile Hotel Asakusa click here.
Taito Ryokan a traditional Japanese Style hotel. 2-1-4 Nishi-Asakusa (west Asakusa) Taito-ku Tokyo Ph: 03 3843 2822. Single prices from 3000 Yen per night – single person may be asked to share a room in peak tourist seasons.
Double room prices from 6000 Yen per night. Triple room prices 9000 Yen per night.
1-18-2 Asakusa Taito-ku Tokyo
Ph: 03 3844 1873. Traditional Japanese style hotel rooms. Single room prices from Y5900 without bathroom (around US$74 per night)
Single room prices from 7900 Yen with bathroom. Double room prices from 11,000 Yen without bathroom. Double room prices from 14,000 Yen with bathroom. Triple room prices from 18,000 Yen per night. Prices including tax
A traditional Japanese style hotel located close to Sensoji Temple and Nakamise Street. Single rooms prices from 6300 Yen per night without bathroom. Single room prices from 9500 Yen per night with bathroom. Double room prices from 12,000 Yen per night without bathroom.
Double room prices from 15,000 Yen per night with bathroom.
2-12-4 Asakusa Taito-ku Tokyo
Ph: 03-5830 0321. Close to Asakusa station.
Single room prices from 6400 Yen with single bed, bath, toilet and internet access. Double room prices from 7800 Yen.
Hotel Sunroute Asakusa (reviews) 1-8-5 Kaminarimon Taito-ku Tokyo Ph: 03-3847 1511. 7 minutes walk from Asakusa subway train station, 5 minutes walk from Tawaramachi subway train station and 10 minutes walk to Sensoji Temple. Room prices from US$93 per night. For more photos, online reservations and hotel reviews for Hotel Sunroute Asakusa click here.
1-9-2 Asakusa Taito-ku Tokyo Ph: 03 5828 3351. Single rooms from 9400 Yen per night excluding taxes. Twin rooms from 13,000 Yen per night. Double rooms from 18,000 Yen per night.
BlueWave Inn Asakusa Hotel (reviews) 2-33-7 Asakusa Taito-ku Tokyo Ph: 03-5828 4321. A 3.5 star hotel located just 2 minutes walk from Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. 5 minutes walk from Asakusa train station and the ferry terminal on the Sumida River. Room prices start from US$88 per night. For more photos, online reservation and hotel reviews for BlueWave Inn Asakusa Hotel click here.
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