Asakusa (浅草) is a district in Taitō, Tokyo, Japan, famous for the
Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon.
There are several other temples in Asakusa, as well as various
festivals, such as the Sanja Matsuri.
3 Sightseeing and historic sites
4 Food and Drink
6 Sanja Matsuri
7 See also
8 In Art and Literature
10 External links
The development of
Asakusa as an entertainment district during the Edo
period came about in part because of the neighboring district,
Kuramae. Kuramae was a district of storehouses for rice, which was
then used as payment for servants of the feudal government. The
keepers (fudasashi) of these storage houses initially stored the rice
for a small fee, but over the years began exchanging the rice for
money or selling it to local shopkeepers at a margin. Through such
trading, many fudasashi came to have a considerable amount of
disposable income and as result theaters and geisha houses began to
spring up in nearby Asakusa.
For most of the twentieth century,
Asakusa remained a major
entertainment district in Tokyo. The rokku or "Sixth District" was in
particular famous as a theater district, featuring famous cinemas such
as the Denkikan. The golden years of
Asakusa are vividly portrayed in
Yasunari Kawabata's novel
The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa (1930; English
translation, 2005). The area was heavily damaged by US bombing raids
during World War II, particularly the 10 March 1945 firebombing of
Tokyo. The area was rebuilt after the war, but has now been surpassed
Shinjuku and other colorful areas in the city, in its role as a
Asakusa is on the north-east fringe of central Tokyo, at the eastern
end of the
Tokyo Metro Ginza Line subway, approximately one mile east
of the major Ueno railway/subway interchange. It is central to the
area colloquially referred to as Shitamachi, which literally means
"low city," referring to the low elevation of this old part of Tokyo,
on the banks of the Sumida River. As the name suggests, the area has a
more traditionally Japanese atmosphere than some other neighborhoods
Sightseeing and historic sites
With so many religious establishments, there are frequent matsuri
Shinto festivals) in Asakusa, as each temple or shrine hosts at least
one matsuri a year, if not every season. The largest and most popular
Sanja Matsuri in May, when roads are closed from dawn until
late in the evening.
Food and Drink
Asakusa has many restaurants and places to try traditional Japanese
foods. One of the most popular treats is satsuma imo, sweet potatoes.
Another special treat is chikuwa kamaboko, grilled fish cakes. The
Suzuhiro store serves local craft beer with traditional kamaboko.
Two geishas relaxing after having entertained; the insets showing the
curfew bell at Asakusa.
Ukiyo-e woodblock print by Yōshū Chikanobu,
In a city where there are very few buildings older than 50 years
because of the wartime bombing,
Asakusa has a greater concentration of
buildings from the 1950s and 1960s than most other areas in
There are traditional ryokan (guest-houses), homes, and small-scale
apartment buildings throughout the district.
In keeping with a peculiarly
Asakusa hosts a major
cluster of domestic kitchenware stores on Kappabashi-dori, which is
visited by many Tokyoites for essential supplies.
Temple in Asakusa
Next to the
Sensō-ji temple grounds is a small amusement park called
Hanayashiki, which claims to be the oldest amusement park in Japan.
The neighborhood theaters specialize in showing classic Japanese
films, as many of the tourists are elderly Japanese.
Cruises down the
Sumida River depart from a wharf a five-minute walk
from the temple.
Asakusa is Tokyo's oldest geisha district, and still has 45 actively
Because of its colourful location, downtown credentials, and relaxed
Asakusa is a popular accommodation
choice for budget travelers.
The neighborhood is famous for its annual Brazilian style carnival.
There is a significant Brazilian presence in the local community and
the Association of Samba Schools of
Asakusa is based there.
Although there are many festivals throughout the year in Asakusa, the
most famous of them is the Sanja Matsuri, also known as Sanja Festival
in May. In this festival,
Mikoshi (portable shrines) and floats are
pulled through the streets while loud shouts accompany them, and
during the festival’s 3 days, 1.5 million people come out to
Luna Park, Tokyo
In Art and Literature
The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa (1930)
Kankichi Ryotsu, protagonist of the popular anime and manga series
KochiKame, is born in Asakusa.
"Corn Dog," Season 1, Episode 2 of Midnight Diner,
Tokyo Stories, a
Netflix Original Series, (2016) is about an old comedian who works in
Asakusa and his successful young protege.
^ "Asakusa: The Heart of Old Tokyo". furthereast.com.
^ Tamborins.com.br (in Portuguese) Archived 2007-10-09 at the Wayback
^ Jornal Extra[permanent dead link] (in Portuguese)
^ Brazilian Culture Ministry[dead link]
Tokyo Travel Guide Planetyze". Planetyze.
Sanja Matsuri (Sanja Festival) –
Tokyo Travel Guide
Planetyze". Planetyze. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
Media related to
Asakusa at Wikimedia Commons
Asakusa travel guide from Wikivoyage
Original 15 wards of
Coordinates: 35°42′52″N 139°47′48″E / 35.71444°N
139.79667°E / 3