One of the major tourist spots in Tokyo, supported by human kindness and stores unique to the downtown as well as the picture scrolls of Asakusa
(C) TakenobuSuzukiPassing through the vermilion-lacquered Kaminarimon Gate, which is famous as the symbol of Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo, you will find much to surprise and excite you. Kaminarimon is the entrance to Nakamise, the front approach to Senso-ji Temple. The approximately 250 m long approach from Kaminarimon Gate to Hozomon Gate is called Nakamise-Dori. There are numerous stores lined up on this approach, about 50 on the east side and 30 on the west side, all of them old and historical. You can fully enjoy the atmosphere of shitamachi (downtown Tokyo). Various products are sold here, including Japanese-style goods that are popular among young tourists from abroad, such as hair accessories, Japanese clogs, wooden dolls and chiyogami (colored paper), folk art products, postcards with the scenery of Asakusa in Edo Period (1603-1868), ningyoyaki and kaminari-okoshi, which are the representative souvenir confectioneries from Tokyo, and classic Japanese food using nori and kombu seaweeds. Nakamise Dori is always filled with tourists.
It is said that Nakamise Dori is one of the oldest shopping streets in Japan. When Tokugawa Ieyasu, a warlord who governed Japan in the Sengoku Period (1493-1590), founded the Edo Shogunate, the population of the city of Edo increased rapidly. Some of the residents opened stores within the premises of Senso-ji Temple and on the approach, which is said to be the origin of Nakamise Dori. The row of shutters at the front of stores is used as a single large canvas on which the traditional events and characteristic scenes for each season are drawn, resembling a large picture roll of Asakusa, so that people can enjoy visiting the place even after the stores are closed at night. Therefore, Nakamise Dori is also worth visiting at night, and the gorgeous mural painting on the shutters is quite a sight.
Address: Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3644-3350 (Nakamise Hall)
Directions: 3 minutes on foot from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line or the Toei Subway Asakusa Line or the Tobu Line (Skytree Line), or 10 minutes on foot from Asakusa Station on the Tsukuba Express Line