The Nakamise covers the length of approximately 250m from Sensoji's Kaminari Mon to the Hozo Mon gates and is considered the oldest shopping street in Japan. Until the founding of the Edo Shogunate by Ieyasu Tokugawa, Edo was just an ordinary city in the Kanto region. Population explosion occurred after the establishment of the shogunate, and with that, the number of visitors to Sensoji skyrocketed. To combat the growing trash problems, the shogunate government granted people exclusive business permits to operate on the entrance path to the temple in exchange for cleaning the temple grounds. This is said to be the start of the Nakamise. In the Edo period, the shops near Denpo-in and the Niou Mon were called “Yakudana,” comprised 20 tea shops, and the toy, confection, and gift shops near the Kaminari Mon were called the “Hiramise.” The number of shops grew steadily to make the Nakamise one of the most organized shopping district in all of Japan. After the Meiji Restoration, the government took away business rights from the shops on the Nakamise, and renewed the street with red-brick buildings. Those were lost during the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, but steel-framed concrete buildings were later built by the local people to bring back the lovely shopping distrcit. Today, 89 shops line the Nakamise, 54 to the east and 39 to the west, each selling items such as souvenirs, toys, crafts, Japanese accessories, and umbrellas.
|Address||2-3-1 Asakusa Taito-ku Tokyo|