Our visit there coincided with the Asakusa Samba festival which takes place in August each year. The roads were closed for the parade. It was a wonderful sight - men, women and children, in costumes paraded to lively music. Imagine, a SAMBA festival in Japan!
The temple of Asakusa (pronounce 'Asaxa') are regarded as the most beautiful and important temple, especially for tourists. It is located n the north-east of the city at the Sumida river. Most striking is the massive lampion of the Kaminari-mon which marks the entrance to the temple complex. After moving through it you will find yourself in the Nakamise-alleyway, a alley full of souvenir shops. After the second gate you will see the Kannon-dô temple andthe pagoda that hosts part of Buddha's bone on its top floor.
The are and especially the Nakamise-alley is packed all year, maybe due to the immense variety of Tokyo souvenirs.
Not far from Kaminarimon the outer gate of the Sensoji Temple are rickshaw drivers on the look out for tourists who want a ride. They will call out to you the tourists for attention.
If you got plenty of spare cash go for a ride around the block with Japanese Jinrikisha pull by rickshaw drivers. We didn’t go because it was expensive for us, I think it was 500yen.
Asakusa is the only place in Japan where you can get a rickshaw ride.
The Dembo-in garden is not generally open to the public and is said to be one of Tokyo's best. It is tucked behind the Chingo-do shrine and the impressive 5 levels pagoda of the Senso-ji. Its smallish, but with no people tramping through it it's spacious for a big city gardens. There one finds a beautiful pond, the home to a colony of turtles. A winding pathway takes one around the pond through a small wood and back to the main terrace area. There are actually a couple of traditional tea houses, open only for special occassions I would guess. To access this peaceful little spot one must gain permission from the Senso-ji administration office. It's free entry, but requires a good reason to enter, often it will be "sorry it's closed to the public".
Continuing our temple/shrine theme from Kyoto, we visited Tokyo famed Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. I was here many years ago and amazingly, it has not changed much.
Best time to visit the temple is before the sun sets so that you can take a look around its surroundings and go inside the temple. When it gets dark, the lights come up and the whole complex looks quite different.
This is the place to shop for little souvenirs (tiny key chains, charms for mobile phones etc.) and snacks as well as dine at one of the manu restaurants nearby.
For a 100 yen coin you can know what your future will be. After paying, you must take out a stick with a japanese sign from a bottle. Then look for the very same sign on the board in front of you to know your fortune. My sister found it very easy, but to me was very difficult, all the signs look the same!!
tired of walking? wanna see the city via a different route? taking the sumida river cruise will relax you and show you lots of things to see. from asakusa to hinode pier, the trip lasts for about 40 minutes.
Part of Tokyo's downtown center during the Edo period, Asakusa once flourished as an entertainment district. It retains some of that feeling as a haven for merchants, artists and craftspeople -- take a stroll down its narrow, crowded streets and you'll be as close as you can get to the atmosphere of old Tokyo.
It seems like a study in abstract. From the Sumida River, this gold tower with a worm-like monument in front of it will surely catch your attention. It's the Asahi Beer Tower and Asahi Super Dry Hall with its characteristic Flamme d'Or. Built in 1989, it serves as the headquarters of Asahi Breweries. Looking for a place to grab a bite? There are several restaurants there.
SENSOJI TEMPLE is Tokyo's oldest and most popular temple, with a history dating back to 628. That was when, according to popular lore, two brothers fishing in the nearby Sumida River netted the catch of their lives-a tiny golden statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy and happiness, who is empowered with the ability to release humans from all suffering. Sensoji Temple (also popularly known as Asakusa Kannon) was erected in her honor, and although the statue is housed here, it's never shown to the public. Still, through the centuries worshippers have flocked here, seeking favors of Kannon, and when Sensoji Temple burned down during a 1945 bombing raid, the present structure was rebuilt with donations by the Japanese people.
Colorful NAKAMISE DORI, a pedestrian lane leading to the shrine, is lined with traditional shops and souvenir stands, while nearby DEMBOIN GARDEN remains an insider's favorite as a peaceful oasis away from the bustling crowds
The Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) is the symbol of Asakusa. It leads to the Sensoji Temple. This gate sports a huge ornate lantern and statues of Raijin (God of thunder and lightning) and Fujin (God of Wind) are displyed at the gate.
Asakusa is considered the old part of Tokyo, there are many little shops once you cross Kaminarimon, "thunder gate", until you get the temple. This is a good place to buy souvenirs or little gifts, you can find many options at a reasonable rate, specially if you've got many friends and you MUST buy something. :P
(THANKS A LOT VT BIXENTE FOR THE PIC)