12 Fun Things to do in Asakusa, Tokyo – besides Senso Ji temple

Asakusa, Tokyo’s oldest district is a must-visit on any itinerary to Tokyo. You can easily spend a full day exploring this area!

Asakusa has it all. It’s home to Senso Ji temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo. It boasts an amazing foodie scene and hidden gems, in a perfect mix of tradition and modern culture – and just steps away from Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the city. Plus, it’s our recommended area to stay and it’s fabulous to go shopping.

Keep reading to find everything you need to know about this amazing area!

Before your trip

Before your trip, I’d highly recommend booking the following in advance:

Check the information below before your trip to Japan:

You can visit Asakusa on your own, but if you want to add a guided tour in this area to your itinerary, it’s recommended to book in advance any tour you’d like to experience as they’re likely to sell out.

These are the most recommended tours in Asakusa:

Where to stay in Asakusa

If you choose Asakusa as your home base to explore Tokyo, you won’t regret it.

Asakusa is in our opinion, the best area to stay in Tokyo. We have stayed here on every trip and 100% will do it again!

This is why we recommend staying in Asakusa:

  • It’s a quiet location, but it has so much to offer
  • It’s the best place to stay if you want to visit Senso Ji temple at sunrise or late at night
  • You can easily connect with both airports and the rest of Tokyo on public transportation
  • It’s good for culture, food, shopping, and sightseeing
  • You will be staying within walking distance to Senso Ji temple and Tokyo Skytree
  • Hotels are great value for the money!

These were the hotels I stayed at:

  • APA Hotel Asakusa Ekimae: our favorite, highly recommended. Comfortable rooms, lots of extras and great location next to the station.
  • Hotel Amanek Asakusa Ekimae: small rooms, but great location, not too far from the previous one. They have an amazing rooftop with incredible views to Tokyo Skytree, pictured below.
  • MIMARU Suites Tokyo Asakusa: if you’re looking for something more spacious, you will love these suites.

12 Fun Things to do in Asakusa, Tokyo

Keep reading to find out the best 12 things to do in Asakusa, Tokyo!

Marvel at Senso Ji temple

Senso Ji temple is the oldest in Tokyo and it’s supposed to be the most visited religious site in the world, with 30 million visitors annually. It’s a must on any travel itinerary in Tokyo.

This colorful Buddhist temple was completed in 645 and is dedicated to Kannon, the bodhisattva of compassion. 

Best ways to visit Senso Ji temple:

  • If you want to learn about the history of this fascinating temple, make sure to book this historical walking tour in advance.
  • If you decide to stay in Asakusa, I highly recommend visiting at sunrise. You will be able to get there before the public transportation starts operating. More importantly, you will get to enjoy this place without the crowds and hearing the monks singing at 6 am is absolutely magical. Plus, there are lots of locals walking their dogs in the area and they’re the nicest!
  • Another good moment to visit is right after sunset. The crowds leave and the area starts to feel quiet again. Not only it looks amazing for photos during the blue hour, but also is close to shopping and dining options to end the day on a high note.

Go souvenir shopping along Nakamise Dori

Nakamise-Dori is the street connecting the Kaminarimon Gate (also known as Thunder Gate) to Senso Ji temple.

This street features 90 shops where you can find anything from souvenirs to fans or lanterns, and food stalls offering different types of foods.

They decorate the whole street depending on the season, using cherry blossoms in the spring and autumn leaves in the fall.

Discover Shin Nakamise Shopping Street

Perpendicular to Nakamise Dori you will find Shin Nakamise, a shopping arcade full of shops and food stalls.

Here you will find everything! From souvenirs to handicrafts, to small restaurants.

Besides, it’s an amazing photo spot! The arcade makes a perfect frame of the Tokyo Skytree.

Get the best views from the top of Tokyo Skytree

Even though Tokyo Skytree is not located exactly in Asakusa, it’s within walking distance from Senso Ji and it’s recommended to visit both on the same day.

Tokyo Skytree offers fabulous 360 degree views of the city, including a bird’s eye view of Senso Ji.

Fun fact: Tokyo Skytree is the tallest building in Japan!

Enjoy the views from the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center

Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center is the perfect place to get maps and any travel advice you could need for your trip in Japan. It’s located right across Kaminarimon Gate.

On the 8th floor there’s an Observation Deck and open terrace and cafe with the best bird’s eye view of Senso Ji and Tokyo Skytree.

Fun fact: They organize free walking tours around Asakusa every weekend.

Azuma-bashi Bridge

Azuma-bashi bridge is often overlooked! However, I wanted to include this bridge on the list because I believe it deserves some recognition. The views to the Tokyo Skytree and the infamous golden turd are amazing!

Do not miss this spot especially during the cherry blossom season.

Taste the viral green ice cream

The most viral ice cream in all Tokyo is made in Asakusa by Chacha Futatsume.

This small shop in Asakusa is known for its unique and delicious Matcha Noodle Ice Cream, topped with a gold leaf.

If you love matcha, you will love this foodie experience! It’s a bit pricey but I must say it’s quite big.

  • Exact address: Chacha Futatsume, 1 Chome-37-6 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo

Have the most viral coffee

You’ve probably have seen Tokyo’s cutest coffee going viral on social media. I must say it’s not just coffee, it’s Special 3D Latte Art!

This coffee shop is located in a quaint street in Asakusa, not too far from Senso Ji.

Make sure to book in advance, as they usually don’t accept walk-ins. And keep in mind that they’re closed on Wednesdays!

Once you’re there, you can either go for a 3D or a 2D design, and you can choose between any design they have (like Totoro) or you can share a photo of anything you’d like. In my case, they draw my cat and I must say they did an amazing job!

  • Exact address: HATCOFFEE, 3 Chome-15-6 Kotobuki, Taito City, Tokyo

Rent a kimono or yukata

Kimono is Japan’s traditional clothing that are still worn today for special festivities.

Did you know you can rent a kimono or yukata and do a photo session at Senso Ji? This absolute bucket list item feels like stepping back in time!

A secret find: Ekimise rooftop

If you want to enjoy a panoramic viewpoint away from the crowds, search no more.

Ekimise Asakusa is a shopping mall with a hidden gem: a rooftop with a view to Tokyo Skytree and the Sumida river.

Once you get to this shopping mall get all the way to the top. There you will find mostly locals and a seasonal beer garden.

Discover Hoppy Street

Hoppy Street is the most lively area in Asakusa full of bars, restaurants and shops.

Highly recommend visiting the Uniqlo shop and of course, getting lost at Don Quijote superstore! Just remember to bring your passport to enjoy the TAX free discount at the counter.

Kappabashi Kitchenware street

Do you consider yourself a foodie? Then you need to visit Kappabashi street in Asakusa.

Kappabashi street is the place to go if you’d like to by knifes, kitchenware, pottery and even fake food samples.

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