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Best Things To Do In Asakusa: Our Tokyo Itinerary

Asakusa Sensoji Temple

Welcome to Asakusa! This historic district is all about chill strolls past Sensoji Temple, grabbing yummy snacks from the lively Nakamise shopping street (the best places to eat in Asakusa are here!), and maybe even catching a glimpse of cherry blossoms in spring (talk about magical!). Here is our guide with tips on what to do in Asakusa, Tokyo.

What to expect while visiting Asakusa?

the view from Asakusa Culture Tourist

Asakusa is a gem of Tokyo where ancient traditions meet the vibe of a modern metropolis. Here, you can travel back in time and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of old Japan. Alternatively, you can marvel at modernistic architecture that adds a touch of futurism to the local landscape. Asakusa is also a foodie's dream, with all sorts of delicious treats waiting for you.

But the most exciting thing about the neighborhood is its drive to look the part: Staying at ryokans and wearing kimonos while out and about are not rare experiences when in Asakusa. If you're interested in authentic ryokan culture (ryokans are traditional Japanese inns that are so hard to come by these days in modern Tokyo), this is the place to be — loads of them are situated here, allowing you to glimpse into the fascinating world of Japanese traditions (think tatami mats and communal baths). And guess what? You're gonna see more folks strutting around in kimonos here than even in temple-clad Kyoto!

In the evening, Asakusa is transformed — streetlights come on, restaurants and bars fill up with people, and performances take place in the streets. So, if you're up for a mix of history, culture, and a laid-back Tokyo vibe, Asakusa is where it's at!

Things to do in Asakusa

Asakusa, Tokyo is definitely a place where everyone will find something for themselves. History lovers will be fascinated by the ancient temples and traditional architecture. Gourmets will be able to try the best dishes of Japanese cuisine. And those who want to learn more about Japanese culture will get the best experience of all — Asakusa’s attractions are a mix of tradition and modern-day cool. What is Asakusa famous for?

Here is a list of must-see and must-do things in the area as well as some Tokyo travel tips.

Take a peek at the neighborhood from high above

Asakusa Culture Tourist

Any list of things to do in Asakusa should have the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center’s rooftop in its itinerary. It is a great place to get a bird's-eye view of the district and for free! You can locate most of the iconic landmarks of the area from here — the Sensoji Temple, the bustling streets, and the breathtaking Sumida River.

Wondering what to do in Asakusa at night? The roof is especially popular at sunset when the views of the city are simply stunning. The deck is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (11 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays). Admission is free. To access the observation deck, take the elevator to the eighth floor.

See all the elements of Sensoji Temple

Sensoji Temple

Sensoji Temple is the oldest temple in the city and one of the best things to see in Tokyo. It blends sacred traditions and stunning architecture, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its timeless beauty.

Here is a list of things you shouldn’t miss while wandering around the temple grounds:

  • Kaminarimon Gate, which is also known as the Thunder Gate, is the main gate of the temple. Make sure to check out the giant lantern that hangs in the center of the gate. It is decorated with a thunderbolt symbol and is supposed to ward off evil spirits.
  • Hozomon Gate is the second gate that is decorated with two statues of Nio, the guardians of the temple. Once again, the statues are believed to be the protectors of the temple.
  • You’ll find the five-story pagoda (Gojunoto) right behind Hozomon Gate. The pagoda is a symbol of Buddhism. It is said that it contains the ashes of the Buddha.
  • Finally, the Main Hall is definitely worth exploring. It is home to a statue of the Bodhisattva Kannon, which is considered miraculous — so have a wish prepared and ready to go! This is a popular destination for pilgrims.

The temple is open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is free.

Indulge in peculiar Japanese street food

Japanese street food

Nakamise-dori is Asakusa's best-known street for a delightful culinary and shopping experience. It is lined with more than 90 shops that sell a variety of goods, including souvenirs, clothing, and food. It doesn’t matter whether this is your first trip to Tokyo or you’re a frequent visitor, several particular street food options are guaranteed to delight your taste buds.

  • Belgian fries with ice cream — one of the most popular items sold on Nakamise-dori street. This combination of sweet and savory flavors is a favorite among tourists and locals alike. The fries are typically served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
  • Mitarashi dango — a popular snack in Japan. These sweet rice dumplings are made from glutinous rice flour and are typically coated in a sweet soy sauce glaze.
  • A curry bun is exactly what it sounds like — a savory bun filled with a curry-flavored filling. The filling is typically made from ground beef or pork, onions, and curry spices.
  • Tempura crisp — another popular snack in Japan. These battered and deep-fried pieces of the protein of your choosing (shrimp tempura is a true crowd favorite) are especially delicious when paired with a dipping sauce.
  • Menchi-katsu — a patty made from ground beef and pork that is deep-fried and then served with a sweet and savory sauce. The sauce is typically made from soy sauce, mirin, and sake.

All of the street food options in Asakusa are highly Instragammable (reel-worthy, even!), so just choose your fighter!

Rent a kimono

Rent a kimono in Asakusa

Remember the kimono fashion trends that define Asakusa in Tokyo? Well, now you have the chance not only to observe them from a distance, but to actually immerse yourself in a quintessential Japanese experience.

We suggest renting a traditional kimono on Klook*: This option will have all of your basic needs covered (kimono + Japanese hairstyling), while this one has a few add-ons, like kimono rentals for the whole family and optional photography services. Such a fun way to travel back in time and stroll down the streets of one of the most famous districts in Tokyo!

*When traveling in Japan, we booked the majority of our activities and outings on Klook: This platform gives you a fully transparent and hassle-free experience.

Take an Instagrammable cooking class

shiba inu

If you are looking for something different during your cruising through neighborhoods of Tokyo, here is an idea — sign up for a cooking class in the district of Asakusa.

Since this area is renowned for its traditional street markets, it’s only logical to master the craft at the very heart of traditional Japanese culture. You’ll learn an authentic Japanese recipe that is crafted to be both a feast for the taste buds and a masterpiece for your Instagram feed.

Discover Sumida Park

Sumida Park

Ready for an escape from the bustling urban landscape? Sumida Park is a great place to take a pause and let yourself blend with the serenity of this area.

We actually love this park for another reason. The park is a perfect spot for observing some of the Asakusa’s important landmarks. Strike a pose with the iconic Tokyo Skytree towering in the distance, or capture a unique postcard moment of the city skyline from the vantage point of Kototoi Bridge.

When visiting Tokyo at the end of July, make sure to put the park on your Tokyo itinerary. Every year, on the last Saturday in July, a dazzling fireworks festival illuminates the night sky: People say it’s one of the best things to do in Asakusa at night. A small tip for you: Arrive early to pick a better viewing spot — they fill up fast.

Gear up on some kitchen supplies

kitchen supplies in Japan Asakusa

Kappabashi-dori, also known as Kitchen Town, is where Tokyo restaurants get all their kitchen essentials for culinary magic. It's the go-to spot for everyone in the food scene, but tourists come here to get those famous Japanese knives — probably, one of the best things to buy in Tokyo.

  • Here you can find your next chef's knife for about 7,000¥ ($50), which is totally worth it, trust us.

But Kappabashi-dori isn't just about shopping. It's also a great place to people-watch. You'll see chefs from all over Tokyo coming here to stock up on supplies, as well as tourists who are just curious about the street's unique offerings. Oh, and did we mention the view? The street is located just a short walk from the Tokyo Skytree, which means you get a stunning view of the city. So, grab your wallet, bring your best The Bear references, and don’t forget a camera.

Toast to your wonderful time in Tokyo

Asakusa Tokyo

If you, like us, have a weak spot for city panoramic views, here is a fun suggestion — enjoy grand panoramas of Asakusa in Tokyo while sipping on a cold locally brewed beer. You can do that in the Asahi Group Head Office Building, also known as the Asahi Beer Tower.

This iconic building is shaped like a giant glass of beer, and it's home to a pub (Asahi Sky Room) on the 22nd floor. The pub offers stunning views of the city — here is a perfect answer to the question of what to do in Asakusa at night. You can also take a tour of the brewery and learn about the history of Asahi beer.

Fun fact: The smaller building next to the Beer Tower (the infamous Beer Hall) has the unfortunate nickname of the Golden Turd due to the unusual shape of its rooftop artwork. The top of the tower features a large, golden structure that, according to the company, represents the “burning heart of Asahi Beer”. However, many people find the shape more closely resembling a giant turd. Don’t let the name discourage you though — paying a visit to one of the building’s great restaurants — Flamme d’or — is one of those fun things to do in Asakusa at night.

Check Tokyo Skytree off your bucket list

Tokyo Skytree

This observation deck is a staple in every Tokyo guide dedicated to things to do in Asakusa, and it's not hard to see why it's such a magnet for tourists. The volume of visitors it attracts daily is staggering. Personally, we find more enjoyment in admiring the Tokyo Skytree from a distance rather than navigating through the crowds at the observation point. However, for first-time visitors to Tokyo, enduring the long wait times for entry (as well as a hefty ticket price tag of 1,800¥ /$13 per person) is likely worth it. The view it offers is truly breathtaking and leaves a lasting impression.

view from Tokyo Skytree

Here's a crucial tip: Be sure to purchase your tickets online on Klook and well in advance. This simple step can save you a lot of hassle and frayed nerves during your visit.

Get lost in Ueno Park

Ueno Park

Ueno Park, one of Tokyo's largest green spaces, has so many things to offer that you can honestly end up spending a whole day here. It is hailed as a top destination for cherry blossom viewing: Walking down its central alley lined with over 1,000 cherry trees is absolutely one of the best things to see and do in Asakusa in Tokyo. Here is a list of some other wonderful things to explore while you are here:

  • Make sure to check out Shinobazu Pond blanketed with water lilies. You can rent paddle boats and glide across the tranquil waters, taking in the picturesque views of the park, the lake, and the city skyline.
  • The National Museum of Nature and Science is a must-visit for those intrigued by natural history and science. Their collection of exhibits ranges from dinosaur fossils to interactive displays on space exploration. While you’re in this area of the park, make sure to look out for the Pokémon manhole, now a real cultural landmark.
  • If you’re more of an art lover, then the Tokyo National Museum might be worth your time. It showcases a diverse and captivating collection of classical Japanese artwork, pottery, and historical artifacts. Or take a look at the National Museum of Western Art — it is the only building in Japan designed by Le Corbusier!

Eat your way through Asakusa

food in Japan

We have talked a lot about the fantastic food scene in Tokyo's Asakusa. The culinary landscape in this neighborhood is so diverse, that the focus of a classical “where” to eat in Asakusa shifts to “what” and “when”! Here's a delicious itinerary for the ultimate foodie adventure that will not only cater to your taste buds but also your Instagram feed:

  • Start your morning right with a steaming bowl of Misojyu — a light and flavorful miso ramen perfect for an energy-boosting breakfast — at the eponymous restaurant in Asakusa, one of the best ramen and miso shops in Tokyo.
  • For lunch, delve into the rich flavors of Asakusa Unana — a street food stand that mainly serves a donburi dish featuring fluffy unagi (eel) atop fragrant rice. This traditional dish is both satisfying and incredibly photogenic.
  • To cool down, try a truly unique treat: ChaCha Futatsume, a viral dessert shop in Asakusa, serves Matcha Mont Blanc — a playful dessert that transforms ice cream into spaghetti-like strands. It's a visual delight and a refreshing way to beat the Tokyo heat.
  • Among other fun street food options are Taiyaki, adorable fish-shaped cakes filled with sweet red bean paste, and a colorful Okonomiyaki — a savory pancake layered with cabbage, meat, and a tangy sauce.

Explore cool coffee places in Asakusa

coffee places in Asakusa

To help you keep up the energy for crossing attractions off your what-to-do-in Asakusa-Tokyo list, we have picked several spots that serve objectively the best coffee in the neighborhood:

  • Sukemasa Coffee is perfect for a taste of tradition with a modern twist. Here, baristas in kimonos brew single-origin beans. It’s definitely a pleasant sight for the eyes too.
  • Suzukien Asakusa offers a cozy atmosphere and a variety of roasts. They also make delicious matcha gelato if you’d like to spice it up a bit.
  • Fuglen is a taste of Scandinavia right in the heart of Tokyo. Besides coffee, they serve tempting Norwegian waffles and a unique selection of cocktails — some featuring a touch of espresso for an extra kick.
  • For a truly Instagram-worthy coffee experience, head to Hat Coffee. Their minimalist space with clean lines and focus on meticulous pour-over techniques creates a stunning backdrop for their artfully crafted lattes, known for their impressive 2D and even 3D designs. Be prepared to pay a tad more though — it’s a bit more expensive than other coffeeshops in the area.

Where to stay in Asakusa?

Apa Hotel in Asakusa Ueno Park

Accommodation in Ueno and Asakusa tends to be more budget-friendly. This may be due to the area being less touristy or due to the higher concentration of ryokans in the area, which often offer a simpler lodging experience compared to hotels. Opting to stay in this neighborhood could save you some money and, if you're up for it, provide an authentic ryokan experience. However, if you choose to stay in a ryokan, be sure to understand what to expect. Think tatami-matted floors, sliding paper doors, and low tables.

Here are Asakusa accommodation options for you to consider:

  • 2* K's House Tokyo Oasis (from $50 per night) — this option is something between a normal hotel and a ryokan. If you want to just dip your toes into Japanese culture, this might be a good start.
  • 3* APA Hotel Asakusa Ekimae (from $80 a night) — basic, but pretty convenient option for those prioritizing convenience and familiar comforts. Located right next to Asakusa Station, it offers easy access to the area's attractions and the wider Tokyo network.
  • 3* Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu (from $120 per night) — personally, we think it is one of the best places to stay in Asakusa. It's a genuine ryokan experience that promises unforgettable memories. Prepare for a deep dive into Japanese cultural heritage like no other.
  • 3* Mimaru Tokyo Ueno North (from $450 a night) — these modern apartments come equipped with kitchens and washing machines, perfect for extended stays or whole family vacations.

🔹Side note: Asakusa, though pretty budget-friendly, isn’t the golden standard of areas to stay in Tokyo. If you want to have even more accommodation options in Tokyo, make sure to check out our detailed guide to the city’s best neighborhoods and hotels to stay in.

So, is Asakusa worth going to?

Shopping in Tokyo

As you have already gathered from our list above, Asakusa district is a very diverse Tokyo neighborhood. While ideally, you might want several days or even a whole week to check all the landmarks off your things-to-do-in-Asakusa bucket list, even a short visit can be incredibly rewarding.

We think that the best time to visit Asakusa is either early morning or dusk depending on your needs. Early mornings are calmer and way less crowded, so you can really take in the tranquility of the area. Asakusa at night will definitely give you more busy vibes, but it is nice to see the Sensoji Temple or the city skyline light up.

What we’re trying to say is yes, Asakusa is 100% worth going to, no matter what it takes for you to get here. Speaking of getting there:

How to get to Asakusa?

Asakusa station

Asakusa Station is your hub for exploring the area. It's served by three subway lines: Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line, and Tobu Skytree Line (consider getting a Tokyo Subway Ticket for unlimited 1/2/3-day rides for a more streamlined experience).

  • If you’re coming from Tokyo station, it’s a 15-minute ride with just one train change.
  • A ride from Narita Airport is around a one-hour journey regardless of your choice, so we advise you to consider Keisei Sky Access. It’s pretty cheap (around $9), fast, and very convenient.
  • Haneda Airport is a bit closer. Taxis or shuttles get you here in 20 minutes but be prepared for a higher cost (around $70) compared to the budget-friendly public transport option (around $5 for a 45-minute ride).

Another wonderful thing that Tokyo has is water buses. Every time we have a chance to take that instead of normal public transportation, we don’t even hesitate! Luckily, Asakusa has a water bus station right next to its train station.

Things to do near Asakusa

Pokemon in Japan

If you’re still wondering what to do in Asakusa, we’ve prepared a list of alternative places to see that are a bit further away from the heart of this neighborhood but still easily reachable. Here are some things to do near Asakusa:

Plan a visit to Akihabara, the center of anime and manga culture. It is fun to come here on a Sunday when the main street is closed off to car traffic and you’re free to wander around. If anime, cosplay, and games aren’t your thing, fear not! Akihabara can easily be explored in a shorter timeframe, allowing you to seamlessly blend your visit with other attractions near Asakusa and Ueno. It's probably the only district where the attractions consist solely of shops, but what shops they are! There are tons of gaming arcades, bright neon signs, and all sorts of quirky places, including cafes where waitresses dress as maids — a strange Japanese fetish. They hand out leaflets on every corner, and you'll spot girls in maid costumes everywhere (but don't take their photos).

Another fun neighborhood is Ginza, Tokyo's ultimate shopping destination. Housing a 12-level Uniqlo store, Muji’s flagship store and hotel, and an enormous mall Ginza SIX featuring 241 stores, this neighborhood is a shopaholic's paradise. But Ginza is not just about shopping. You can check out a classical Japanese kabuki performance or simply walk around and admire the architectural gems of the area. There are plenty of those here: The iconic Hermès Building, the modernist Okuno Building, and the futuristic Ginza Place complex — just to name a few.

These two neighborhoods aren’t the only ones worthy of your time and attention; the other ones — like Shibuya and Odaiba, for example — are simply set further away from Asakusa.

Best things to do in Asakusa: In conclusion

We hope that we’ve helped you plan your time in Asakusa, Tokyo to a T: After all, this unique neighborhood is a tricky one to fully understand without at least some prior knowledge. If you have any further questions regarding the topics of what to see, eat, and do in Asakusa, — don’t forget to leave them in the comments down below!

To get a fuller picture of what other gems Tokyo has to offer, make sure to check out these posts:

With all of this information under your belt, you’re all set to have a fantastic time in Tokyo!