Language Switcher

10 Activities to Try in Asakusa


10 Activities to Try in Asakusa : Staff Recommended!

Hello! I am staff member Nabe. What do you think of when you hear “Asakusa”? Perhaps you may think of the Kaminarimon Gate, Senso-ji Temple, or the abundant local festivals that take place here. But believe it or not, Asakusa is not just about visiting temples; there are countless things to do here that you just can’t experience elsewhere.

So on this page, we will introduce to you 10 things to experience in Asakusa, as recommended by our staff working at a hostel in Asakusa. Now let’s head straight in!

Pay homage at the temple

A visit to Senso-ji Temple is a must when in Asakusa. Beyond the iconic Kaminarimon gate, which comes into view shortly after exiting Asakusa Station, the main temple hall stands proudly at the end of the Nakamise street lined with souvenir shops and bustling with people.

The temple halls are open from 6am (6.30am from October to March) to 5pm, so why not pay homage while you are sightseeing? Dharma services are also held in the main hall every day at 6am, 10am and 2pm. In addition, on the 13th of every month, you can join a morning shrine visit tour to enjoy morning porridge and listen to a Dharma talk -and for only 500 yen!

Take a stroll dressed in Kimono

Since you’ve come all the way to downtown Asakusa, how about blending yourself in with the traditional Japanese atmosphere of the city? One easy way to do this is by dressing up in Kimono! You can find many kimono rental and dressing shops in Asakusa. The prices start from around 3,000 yen, and some of these shops offer additional cute accessories and hair arrangements.

Strolling around the streets of Asakusa in a kimono dress is sure to make you one with this historical cityscape, and will, of course, be super photogenic! Why not take a photo of yourself in a kimono and show off to friends and family back home★

Ride a Rickshaw

We highly recommend a rickshaw ride if you want to get a more detailed and authentic tour of Asakusa, one of the most visited sightseeing locations in Tokyo! After you catch a ride on one of these traditional vehicles, the charming rickshaw pullers will guide you through the city and history of Asakusa, giving you recommendations for things to do in the area.

There are several rickshaw operators in Asakusa that are all very easy to find, as there are many of them waiting out in front of the Kaminarimon gate. Prices start at around 3,000 yen and rides can be booked online or by telephone. Even without a reservation in advance, you can always just go up to one and ask if you can hire a ride on the spot.

Go Barhopping

Do you like to drink? I certainly do. If you’re like me, Asakusa has a variety of tasty shops with traditional downtown vibes. To start with, let’s hit the so-called “Hoppy Street” not far from Senso-ji Temple. It’s only 100m long and lined with lovely izakaya pubs, giving it the feel of a continuous bar street.

Get into the Asakusa atmosphere by gulping down some beef stew, a downtown speciality, with some hoppy during the daytime! Even if you don’t drink, it’s just as fun to simply walk around in the evening, admiring the streets lit up by red lanterns.

Take a dip in a traditional Bathhouse

  ※This photo is an image

If your legs get tired from walking around, rest your body in a hot bath as the Edo people did. Although few in number, Asakusa still has its traditional, austere Sento (public bathhouses).

My personal favorite is Akebono-yu, located in the “Oku-Asakusa” (deep Asakusa) neighborhood just beyond Senso-ji Temple. The magnificent exterior is exactly what anyone would imagine a traditional Japanese bathhouse to look like. Once you pass through the entrance and pay your fee, you can soak yourself in the hot waters of the bath. Long ago, it is said that even if the water was scalding hot, the Edo people would never forget to complain about the temperature being lukewarm as they stepped in. Once you experience the hot Sento, you may well be a citizen of Edo at heart.

Indulge yourself with Traditional Japanese Entertainment

If you a have an interest in art and entertainment, Asakusa, a cultural hub for ages, is just the place for you. Here in Asakusa you can enjoy traditional Japanese comedy, called Rakugo, as well as traditional theatrical performances. Indeed, this small town has produced many celebrities and comedians in the past.

You can see authentic Rakugo every day at the Asakusa Engei Hall, which is one of only four Rakugo theatres in Tokyo and boasting over 70 years of rich history. Situated in the same building (through a different entrance) is the Asakusa Toyokan, where Takeshi Kitano (also known as Beat Takeshi) honed his comedic craft; here, you can enjoy Japanese Manzai comedy shows every day.

Note that there is no back door to the building and performers use the same entrance as customers, so if you are lucky you might just meet a celebrity!

Stop by the Asakusa Little Theatre to see live comedy performances by fresh young comedians every day, or visit the Mokubakan Public Theatre, where you can enjoy popular theatre performances with singing and dancing in flashy costumes.

Go to an event

When you think of Asakusa, perhaps the famous Sanja Festival, where people carry mikoshi shrines, comes to mind. However, we’re here to let you know that that’s not all; there are also festivals and events held almost all year round! Some of these major events include…

January : Hatsumode (New Years shrine visit)
February : Setsubun
March : Nagashi-bina, Dance of the Golden Dragon, Sakura Festival
April : Dance of the White Heron, Asakusa Horseback Archery
May : Sanja Festival
June : Potted Plant Market
July : Sumida River Firework Festival, Chinese Lantern Market
September : Asakusa Samba Carnival
November : Tori Market
December : Hagoita Market

As you can see, there is something happening nearly every month, so we invite you to come sightseeing during festival season for a truly unique and unforgettable experience★

Have fun at uniquely themed shops

There is no shortage of things to do here in Asakusa, where all sorts of shops are located!

Japan’s oldest amusement park, Asakusa Hanayashiki, offers not only retro playground equipment but also Japan’s oldest roller coaster ride. For those of you thrill-seekers, the historic rides here offer a whole different kind of thrill as well…

Enjoy a full day of fun in Asakusa, where you can go goldfish scooping, try your hand at kawara-wari (roof tile breaking), or meet rare animals in an animal cafe!


Get a Taste of Hanamachi Culture

Did you know that you can find Geiko in Asakusa? Many people associate Geiko with Kyoto, but Asakusa is one of only six Hanamachi (flower districts) in Tokyo.

The area beyond Senso-ji Temple is called ‘Kannon-ura’, and there are several traditional Japanese restaurants where you can order Geiko performances. While not for those with a tight budget, a first-class banquet accompanied by a professionally trained Geisha is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience.

In the past, such ryotei restaurants were oftentimes thought to be too expensive, and famous also for their ‘no first-timer’ policy, but nowadays it appears that some ryotei restaurants have accessible websites; if you are looking for an authentic, quality Japanese dining experience, making an enquiry may be worth a shot.

Make some of Asakusa’s famous sweets

Have you heard of Asakusa’s famous confectionery, “Kaminari-okoshi”? It’s a crispy confection of puffed rice hardened with candy, and a popular, classic souvenir from Tokyo. This snack has a long history, first produced and sold around 200 years ago, and its popularity to this day proves that it’s stood the test of time.

You can try your hand at making this Kaminari-okoshi delicacy at ‘Tokiwado‘, a long-established Kaminari-okoshi shop with over 200-years of history.

And to top it off, not only do you get to make your own famed Kaminari-okoshi, but you also receive a free ‘roasted rice kit’ as a souvenir, so that you can make it again at home! This sweet time is guaranteed to be a memorable part of your trip.

There are more than just 10 things to enjoy in Asakusa…

What did you think of our recommendations? This time we have introduced 10 things that our staff recommend, but the list of fun things to do is by no means limited to these 10! In fact, nothing beats seeing the city with your own eyes and discovering the historical Asakusa for yourself.

Asakusa awaits you!