1-Day Itinerary in Asakusa

Updated November 4, 2019, by C. Thiele, 23 year veteran of Tokyo.

Morning

All the action starts in the morning when you get off the train at Asakusa station


When you finally find your way out of the Station you’ll head straight down the road toward Senso-Ji Temple which is the “can’t miss” sight in Asakusa.

After about a block you’ll see the iconic Kaminarimon Gate with its huge paper lantern and cool statues. This is where you enter Senso-Ji, plus it’s a fantastic photo spot.

Head through Kaminarimon Gate onto Nakamise-dori, which feels like a huge sidewalk with interesting shops all around. Take some time to peruse and see what’s on sale. Lots of great memorabilia available here (and traditional snacks if you missed breakfast).

Nakamise-dori leads the magnificent Hozomon Gate protecting the main hall. Spend an hour or two exploring the Senso-Ji Temple grounds, and don’t overlook the 5-storied pagoda

It’s time to leave Senso-Ji… If you enjoy ramen, on the way to the next leg of your tour take a break and grab some lunch at Ramen-Tei.

If you’re looking for alternatives to Ramen-Tei, check out Kamiya (udon noodles), Tentou (tempura), or maybe Nakasei (traditional Japanese food). These are all in the same area, near the next leg of the itinerary.


Afternoon

Okay, now it’s time to escape from Senso-Ji. The side streets around the area are just as amazing to check out.

Hit up Chingo-do. Yes, it’s another temple, but it has a fun twist because it enshrines the tanuki from Japanese folklore. 

After you’ve had enough temple stuff move on to the Taiko Drum Museum. It’s a massive display of drums from all around the world — including, of course, the traditional Japanese taiko drum.

From there make your way to the Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center where you’ll find old-world Japanese craft exhibits (you’ll really love these if you’re into great craftsmanship). They hold demonstrations on weekends.

Somewhere in between these places you’ll want to stop off for coffee or tea (and a snack) at the Ninja Cafe. It’s a crazy interesting experience you’ll regret missing while in the area.


Evening

In some guides, you’ll get directed to go across the river to check out the magnificent Tokyo Sky Tree. You could do that, or you could stay in Asakusa and see more here.

Let’s say it’s about 4:30 pm. It’s time to head over to Asakusa Mokubakan and enjoy a traditional Japanese theater show for ¥1,700/person. The evening show starts at 5:00 pm and ends at 8:30 pm (hopefully you ate something at the Ninja Cafe).

(Note: I realize this portion of the itinerary may not be the most family-friendly if you have small children – in that case, explore the area around Asakusa Engei Hall — it’s neat and packed with interesting shops to peruse).

Don’t hesitate too much after the show, it’s time for dinner. How about some delicious yakiniku? Yakiniku is grilled meat and Tonbi Gyuniku Emon has some amazing quality.

After dinner, you can slow down and take your time. The last thing I wanted to point out is the huge Don Quijote shop. If you’ve never heard of this shop, think of it as an “as seen on TV” store meets an “off the wall gift stop” with a Japanese twist — and it’s open 24 hours.