Asakusa

Yonoya Kushiho

Yonoya Kushiho

Yonoya Kushiho, established in 1717, is the only store in Asakusa area that specializes in boxwood comb. Using boxwood from Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, the store owner hand creates every comb, hairpin, netsuke and other products that you will find on display here.

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Matsuchiyama Shoden

Matsuchiyama Shoden

Located on the Mt. Matsuchi, the shortest mountain in Tokyo, this temple is a branch of Sensoji. A legend has it that during Emperor Suiko's rule, the mountain appeared suddenly one night and a golden dragon came down from the heavens to protect it. Six years after this incident, when this area was struck with famine, Daishokangiten, or Nandikesvara, appeared and saved people. Throughout the temple grounds, you will find daikon radish and pouches that symbolize the Daishokangiten's blessing. The daikons are for health, meeting a good partner and family harmony, while the pouches mean business prosperity.

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Komagatado

Komagatado

Komagatado stands where the principal image of Sensoji was first pulled out of water. Its principal image is Bato Kanzeon Bosatsu, and it is popularly called “Komando.” On March 18, 628, brothers Hamanari and Takenari Hinokuma noticed a buddist statue in their throw net when they were fishing on the Sumida River. The brothers pulled the statue out of the water and built Komagatado to mark the location of their discovery. The original building used to face towards the river, but after a few rebuilding, the structure now faces toward the South. In the olden days, there was a pier nearby and there were also numerous inns for people who traveled to Asakusa by boat. It is said that people would pay respects at the Komagatado first before heading to Sensoji to visit the Kannon.

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Kappa Kawataro Statue

Kappa Kawataro Statue

This symbolic statue was erected in 2003 to commemorate 90th year of Kappabashi Dougu Street. The gold-plated statue of a kappa, a legendary water monster, appears almost god-like. The statue was built with hopes of business prosperity and that was due, in part, to a certain legend involving this familiar river creature. Long ago, the area around Kappabashi was constantly flooded by rain because of poor drainage out of the area. To alleviate the situation, a flood prevention work was undertaken and the kappas are said to have helped with this major public works project. People who witnessed the working kappas saw their businesses grow rapidly and that is why people pray to the golden kappa statue for business prosperity. The name Kappabashi is also said to have come from the legend of the helping kappas.

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Asakusa Shrine

Asakusa Shrine

The two brothers Hamanari and Takenari Hinokuma, who discovered Sensoji's Kannon statue and Nakatomo Haji, who determined the brothers' finding to be the precious statue of the Sho Kanzeon Bosatsu, are enshrined at the “Sanja Gongensha.” During the Meiji Restoration, a law went into effect to separate shito shrines and buddhist temples, so in 1868, this shrine was renamed Sanja Myojinja. Later, in 1873, it was again renamed to the current name, the Asakusa Shrine. During the Sanja Festival, which draws about 1.5 million people every year, Asakusa sees its busiest time of the year. The one-a-year appearance during the festival of the three main mikoshis that are usually stored in the mikoshi storage adjacent to the main building is the sight you do not want to miss.

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Asakusa Rental Kimono Koto

Asakusa Rental Kimono Koto

When strolling through historic Asakusa, you may want to dress in a traditional Japanese garments. This is a store that will make your wish come true. Here, you can rent traditional kimonos at very reasonable prices. They have a huge selection to choose from and will even help you wear the kimonos properly. For ladies, there is an option to have your hair set to match your kimono. The price list is available in English, Chinese and Taiwanese, so there is no worry about not understanding what you are paying for. Strolling in beautiful kimono is sure to make your Asakusa trip more memorable.

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Asakusa West Approach

Asakusa West Approach

Many unique shops line this Japan's first wooden street shopping district. The road was completed in November, 2014. Approximately 40 stores line this 100m long street, including dance costume stores, cutlery stores and souvenir shops. Wooden pavement is not allowed on public streets under Japanese law, but because this is a private road inside Sensoji grounds, the unique shopping street was realized.

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Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku

Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku

Established in 1954, Yadoroku is a rice balls shop with a refined storefront. The showcase inside the shop displays numerous ingredients for rice balls, including the usual suspects like salmon, cod roe, and ume plums to more unique chili pepper leaves and pokeweed. There are ingredients that have been gathered from all over Japan. Every year, a variety of rice that would make the best rice balls is chosen. Rice is pot-cooked in a traditional way to bring out most flavor out of each grain of rice. To order, simply choose your favorite ingredients from the showcase and your rice balls will be made right in front of your eyes. Wrapped in dried seaweed, your rice balls are ready. Onigiri rice balls are simple, yet delicious. Take a rice ball along with you for your walk around Asakusa.

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Plaza of Stars

Plaza of Stars

Taito Ward built this plaza in 1979 to honor the people who have contributed to the development of Japanese popular entertainment. Many handprints and autographs of actors, rakugo performers, singers and other celebrities with Asakusa-ties are on display here.

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Asakusa Monja Croquette

Asakusa Monja Croquette

Of the twelve “Praying Badgers” you find along the Badger Street, you will be greeted by the “Love Badger” at the Asakusa Monja Croquette. The hit item here is the “monja croquette” which will let you enjoy monjayaki even while walking. Monjayaki is usually cooked on a hot plate, but the “monja croquette,” as the name implies, is breaded and deep-friend monjayaki. Inside the breading, you will find creamy monjayaki and it tastes just like the regular monjayaki would. This is a novel way to enjoy a traditional downtown Tokyo gourmet.

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