The contrasts of Tokyo life – Day 2: Asakusa is an area of ancient temples and pagodas

If you want to feel yourself in the East, start the day with Asakusa district - it has preserved the customs and traditions of old Japan more than others. In ancient times it was famous for its "houses of tolerance" and was considered the most elite place in the city. Visiting several temples and shrines of the Old Town, you will witness the era of the Shoguns, who for a long time were the rulers of the Land of the Rising Sun. In addition to diving into history, you'll also have to see and even climb the popular Skytree TV Tower, walk down Tokyo's oldest shopping street and relax in the spa complex at the end of the evening.
The contrasts of Tokyo life
Visiting:

Trip duration: 6 days

Viktoria Afanaseva

Tricolore (トリコロール 本店)

Cafés


There are plenty of great cafes and restaurants in the Ginza area. Tricolore is one of them. This cafe has been working since 1936. Very beautiful interior in white-brown shades, and the building itself attracts with its brick finish. Guests love to take their favorite cheesecake here, and coffee here is fresh and aromatic.

Kaminarimon Gate (雷門)

Monuments / Landmarks


The first attraction you'll see in Asakusa is the Caminarimon Gate or the Thunder Gate. They were built in 942 by order of military commander Tayr no Kiyomas. After the foundation, two divine statues of Indian origin, Fujin and Raijin, were added to this gate. This was done to protect the temple from natural disasters. At the end of the 19th century, the gate was on fire and was not rebuilt until 95 years later. The entrepreneur, founder of the famous Panasonic company Konosuke Matsushita, has donated funds for the construction of a new building. In front of the Senseo-ji Temple Complex, which we will see below, there is a large red light.

Senso-ji Temple (浅草寺)

Buddhist Temples


The Caminarimon Gate is followed by Sensei Temple. It is considered to be one of the most revered statues in the capital, was built in 628 and was intended to store a statuette of gold Kannon - the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Legend has it that two fishermen found her. The temple and the five-storey pagoda were reconstructed after World War II. Also in this area of the temple there are many Shinto shrines that you can see.

Demboin (伝法院)

Buddhist Temples


Next to the temple complex is this small but very picturesque garden. In spring, the cherry blossoms here, and in autumn, bright maple leaves reign. The atmosphere in the garden is serene and calm, you can walk slowly through it and dream. There are many benches. If you have some free time, check out the Japanese Art Museum, which is also close to the garden.

Nakamise Shopping Street (仲見世商店街)

Shopping Malls, Roads


After visiting the main sights, walk along one of the oldest shopping streets of the city - Nikamise-dori. Trade has been going on here since the beginning of the 18th century. On both sides of the street you'll find a variety of shops and shops filled with national Japanese sweets, ceramics, umbrellas and fans. Perfect for a gift or a souvenir. Even the katana sword, which is very similar to the real one, is sold here, as well as a kimono made of silk. Magaz Agemanju in the centre of the street is very popular thanks to the delicate manju buns filled with sweet bean paste. There are more pumpkin, chestnut and green tea stuffings to try.

Asakusa Unatetsu (浅草うな鐵)

Unagi Restaurants


This place is considered to be the best place in Asakusa to taste the most delicious eel! The restaurant is fully air-conditioned, with a pleasant interior, offers a wide choice of eels and other traditional Japanese cuisine. The restaurant is open until 10:00 p.m.

Ueno Zoo (上野動物園)

Zoos


Ueno Zoo started its work in 1882. It was originally inhabited by animals living only in Japan. Now there are more than three thousand of them, of which about 500 species. In addition to the cute pandas, there are Sumatrian tigers, western gorillas and many other endangered animals and birds. You can also see the sea creatures. In 2017, a little panda Xiangxiang was born in Ueno Zoo, which means "fragrance". People take care of animals, taking care of them and preserving their rare appearance.

Ueno Park (上野恩賜公園)

Parks


After visiting the zoo, you can walk around the Ueno Park. This islet was founded in 1873 and its territory is large. There are museums, ponds, temples.

Sumida Park (隅田公園)

Parks


Sumida Park is divided into two parts by the river of the same name. One part is in the Asakusa area and the other is on the opposite bank in the Sumida area. Nearby is the famous Sensei Ji Temple and Asakusa Station. Sumida Park is traditionally held by khans, the Japanese national tradition of admiring flowers. In spring there are about 800 trees of Japanese cherry trees in bloom here. To see cherry blossoms on both sides of the river come not only tourists, but also local residents of the capital. In summer, one of the most famous fireworks shows takes place here. The park is open 24 hours.

Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー)

Monuments / Landmarks


Tokyo Tower Skytree is one of the main tourist attractions of the Japanese capital. The TV Tower is a symbol of the city and is one of the most visited attractions in Tokyo. Its height is about 330 meters. For visitors there are two viewing platforms with panoramic views and 360 degree view. Below the tower is the "Footpath Town", a 4-storey building where you can find it: 1) aquarium exhibition; 2) Guinness Book of Records Museum; 3) Wax museum; 4) a gallery of optical illusions. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes to eat in. It's open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Namaiki (生粋)

BBQ Joints


Very popular restaurant, it is better to book a table in advance. Cards are accepted. Various variations of Wagyu beef on the grill are presented. The restaurant is open from 17:00 to midnight.