Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Asakusa, Tokyo

Of Interest: Senso-ji temple, Sumidagawa River cruise, Asakusa shrine
Lodging: multiple, including many budget hotels and ryokan
Tourist Office: between the metro station and Senso-ji
Lockers available: small and medium

There are two Asakusa Stations. One serves the Ginza and the Toei Asakusa subway lines as well as the Tobu Isesaki line that heads out of Tokyo into Saitam, Tochigi, and Gunma Prefectures.

The second one is a stop on the Tsukuba Express. The Tsukuba station is fully accessible with small and medium lockers. It is also fully handicapped accessible. It is an attractive station with murals of the history of the area.

And Asakusa is a good area for history buffs. Asakusa was a village in ancient times that was absorbed into old Edo. Asakusa is Tokyo's oldest entertainment district and is a good place for traditional culture. Asakusa still has geisha houses and other forms of traditional culture.
The main tourist attraction is Senso-ji, Tokyo's oldest temple. Originally built in 645, the temple and its grounds were mostly destroyed during WWII. On the temple grounds is a tree that was almost killed by a bomb during the war. The tree regrew from the burned stump, and this symbolizes the reconstruction of the temple. Asakusa shinto shrine is next to the temple.

There are also museums in the area. Tepco Asakusa (Folk Museum) is near the Tsukuba line station.

To help people get around, there is a local loop bus.

There is an excellent blog post about Asakusa at the Tokyo Dreaming blog including pictures that express the feeling of the place.

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