I had a free afternoon so decided to take walk around Asakusa. This historic district of Tokyo is one of my favourite spots.
The area is well known as the home of Senso-ji. One of the most famous temples in Tokyo. The entrace to Senso-ji; known as Kaminari-mon gate, has a giant lantern. It’s a popular photo spot. Look to the left of Asakusa station on the below map. You can find a big picture of Kaminari-mon gate on a previous blog post.
Just opposite the entrance to Senso-ji there is a tourist information centre (Asakusa Culture & Sightseeing Centre). It’s a tall building and has a viewing platform which makes for a nice vantage point over the Senso-ji complex.
It’s fun to look down on the busy crossing in front of the entrance to Senso-ji. There are locals going about their daily business, tourists enjoying Kaminari-mon, and tour guide rickshaws.
Looking forward from the vantage point you get a clear view of Nakamise dori. It leads from Kaminari-mon to the temples proper. The alleyway is lined with stalls on either side. You can buy things like cat figurines and rice cakes. This is about as ‘touristy’ as it get’s in Tokyo. For shopping, I’d recommend walking a little West to the nearby ‘Broadway’ shopping street and the surrounding area where you can find many specialist shops with a less touristy vibe.
Rather than walking down Nakamise-dori, if you walk to the West you were immediately encounter less touristy little alleyways with restaurants and some small stores.
On this walk around Senso-ji I decided to take some photographs of the temple roofs. It was one of those lovely autumn / winter afternoons in Tokyo when the light gets particularly beautiful.
It’s fun to look up when taking photos. This is a nice way to take photos in areas where it’s really packed with tourists. It’s also fun to look for some close up detail.
A large portion of the tourists you might see at a famous temple in Japan will be Japanese people, perhaps visiting from different areas of the countries. They aren’t just visiting to see the temple, but also to pay respects or pray.
If you visit Senso-ji and you can read Japanese; or have a Japanese friend, you can draw a ‘Omikuji’ paper fortune. The wooden drawers that hold the fortunes are pretty.
After visiting the temple, if you go West from Senso-ji you can find plenty of interesting sights on the surrounding streets and alleyways.
There is a traditional theatre. I saw lot’s of flowers celebrating the current actors or performance.
And there’s a main street of bars and restaurants with street side dining and drinking. This is one of the spots in Tokyo you can get quite authentic Monjayaki.