Until recently the prime attraction for visitors east across the Sumida-gawa was Ryōgoku, home to the capital’s sumo stadium and the engaging Edo-Tokyo Museum, covering the city’s history from the seventeenth century to the present day. Looming over both these is the soaring Tokyo Sky Tree telecommunications tower, a mega construction project that is drawing attention to the previously untouristed residential and industrial area of Oshiage.

This part of Tokyo, the core of the Shitamachi area, is the capital at its most traditional. Nowhere is this more obvious than among the craftshops and neighbourhood restaurants and ryokan of Asakusa and in the constant festival atmosphere around its magnificent temple, Sensō-ji.

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