ASAKUSA (浅草) is best known as the site of Tokyo’s most venerable Buddhist temple, Sensō-ji, whose towering worship hall is filled with a continual throng of petitioners and holiday-makers. Stalls before the temple cater to the crowds, peddling trinkets and keepsakes as they have done for centuries; old-fashioned craftshops display exquisite hair combs, paper fans and calligraphy brushes; and all around is the inevitable array of restaurants, drinking places and fast-food stands. It’s the infectious carnival atmosphere that makes Asakusa so appealing. The biggest festival here is the Sanja Matsuri, but there are numerous smaller celebrations; ask at the information centre in front of Sensō-ji’s main gate if there’s anything on.

Though you can easily reach Asakusa by subway, a more pleasant way of getting here – or away – is by river. The ferry terminal is under Azuma-bashi, opposite Philippe Starck’s eye-catching Flamme d’Or Building.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Tokyo features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Where to stay in Tokyo: an area by area guide

Where to stay in Tokyo: an area by area guide

As the biggest city in the world, it’s unsurprising that Tokyo is crammed full of different places to stay – and with each district boasting its own charact…

11 Nov 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Tokyo or Kyoto: where to visit first

Tokyo or Kyoto: where to visit first

Where first, Tokyo or Kyoto – it should be an easy choice, right? They’re polar opposites, after all: Tokyo is a land of neon and skyscrapers, the archetyp…

26 Sep 2016 • Rebecca Hallett insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month