Asakusa Area Guide

Asakusa is a history-rich neighborhood in the eastern part of Tokyo's 23 wards. An entertainment district in the Edo period, Asakusa retains much of the traditional look and feel of old Tokyo. Livability is high thanks to plenty of shops in the area. It is also near the major transportation hub of Ueno. However, flocks of visitors to Sensoji Temple might make it hard to find peace and quiet.

Contents

Location

The neighborhood of Asakusa is located in Taito Ward, in the north-eastern region of Tokyo’s 23 wards. Adjacent to the neighborhood to the east is the Sumida River, and to the west lies the large transportation hub of Ueno. Asakusa is one of Tokyo’s most well-known neighborhoods because of its historical role as an entertainment district throughout the Edo period. Nowadays, Shibuya, Shinjuku and Roppongi are the capital’s most famous entertainment destinations, but none of these neighborhoods retain the same kind of old, traditional Tokyo charm that Asakusa has.

The Ekimise store in Asakusa. Photo: IQRemix via Flickr

Key Stats

Average Rent in Asakusa

Apartment Type Average Rent ($1 = ¥110)
1R 1K ¥96,000/month ($870)
1LDK 2K 2DK ¥146,200/month ($1,330)
2LDK 3K 3DK ¥185,200/month ($1,680)

Apartments For Rent in Asakusa

Train Lines

JR/Subway/Other Line
Tokyo Metro  Ginza
Toei  Asakusa
Tobu  Skytree
Metropolitan Intercity Railway*  Tsukuba Express

*The Asakusa Tsukuba Express Station is a separate station, about 600 m west of Asakusa Station. There is no transfer passageway between the two stations.

Accessibility

Transportation to…  Line Time
Shinjuku Ginza (Kanda), transfer to Chuo-Sobu Rapid 29 min
Shibuya Ginza, direct 33 min
Tokyo Ginza (Kanda), transfer to Yamanote 18 min
Shinagawa Asakusa (Sengakuji), train continues on Keisei Main Line 23 min
Kitasenju Tobu Skytree, direct 17 min
Toranomon Ginza, direct 21 min
Yokohama, Kanagawa Asakusa (Sengakuji), train continues on Keisei Main Line 41 min

Orientation around the station

Since three subway lines (not counting the Tsukuba Express line at its own station to the west) from three different rail companies make a stop here, it can be a little confusing to navigate through Asakusa Station. However, as long as you’re clear on which line to take you should be able to follow signs to get to your destination.

Tokyo Metro Line

  • Exits 1, 2, and 3 are relatively near each other. Exit 1 is the closest to Kaminarimon, where most visitors to Asakusa like to start taking in the sights.
  • Exit 4 is on the east side of the station, facing the Sumida River.
  • Exit 6 is located on the same city block as Exits 1 and 3, but on the north side of the block.
  • Exit 7 exits into a Matsuya Ekimise shopping mall.
  • Exit 8 is close by, but exits outside the mall.
  • Exit 5 is across the street to the east of the Matsuya Ekimise shopping mall. You can use this exit to walk along the Sumida River and the parks lining it.

Toei Asakusa Line

  • Exit A1 places you in front of a Family Mart location.
  • Exits A2a and A2b are just across the street to the east. Putting them closer to the Sumida River.
  • Exit A3 is located in a very nondescript stretch of road. Near this exit is the Kaminarimon Post Office.
  • Exit A4 leads to a small side street with a Family Mart in front of the exit. From here, a quick walk north will take you to Kaminarimon.
  • Exit A5 lies to the east of Exit A4, and is on the larger Edo-dori Ave. If you head north from this exit you’ll run into the Matsuya department store where the Ginza Line exits are found.

Tobu Skytree Line

  • Exiting from the Main Ticket Gate (正面改札口) you’ll take an escalator one floor down to the street level. Here you can choose to exit from any of three exits (Edo St., Central Exit, and Umamichi St.). These exits are all situated around the Matsuya Ekimise shopping mall.
  • The lesser used North Exit (北改札口) will put you right under the tracks of the Tobu Line. Across from this exit is a Mos Burger location. This exit is also fairly close to Sensoji.

Home to one of Tokyo’s most famous temples: Sensoji

Hozomon Gate at Sensoji. While the temple draws in plenty of visitors, there are pockets of calm in the neighborhood. Photo: pierreemilebarreteau via Flickr

Thanks to the popularity of Sensoji, you’ll always find a crowd of tourists (both Japanese and non-Japanese) bustling around the station and the streets around the temple. This gives the area a lively and busy feel, but it is possible to find pockets of calm in more residential streets in this neighborhood.

Traditional shitamachi vibe

One of the charms of Asakusa is that it retains the look and feel of traditional Tokyo. You’ll find small local izakayas throughout the alleys and streets. Many of the establishments in this area have been fixtures in the community for decades. One downside to having many different bars in the area is that the number of visibly intoxicated individuals in the area tends to be higher than other residential areas in Tokyo.

Asakusa is located in Taito Ward which shares much in common with neighboring wards like Arakawa Ward and Sumida Ward in that these areas are considered shitamachi (lit. “lower city”) referring to the historical differentiation between two regions of Tokyo, the other being the yamanote area to the west. In the past, the shitamachi area was primarily inhabited by the working class, merchants, and craftsmen. Today, it’s easy to see the rich history of the Edo period in these shitamachi areas, everything from the temples and shrines to the residential single-family homes has a touch of traditional Tokyo.

Livability

The shopping street near Asakusa Tsukuba Express Station can get pretty crowded. It typically won’t be as crowded as downtown Shibuya or Shinjuku on a weekend, but it can get a touch more crowded than you’d expect for a residential area.

A shot of the Don Quijote location in Asakusa along with a typical crowd. Photo: Daniel Ramirez via Flickr

Living in this neighborhood gives you good access to open parks near the Sumida River as well, boosting livability. These are great spaces to go for a walk on a nice day. There’s also plenty of shopping options in Asakusa as well since you’ll find a Don Quijote (discount goods store, well-known for the sheer amount of items packed into each store) in addition to the variety of supermarkets and restaurants.

A look down Denboin Street in Asakusa. You’ll find a wide variety of stores in the traditional Tokyo look and feel. Photo: Ken Eckert via Wikimedia Commons

Overall, Asakusa is a livable neighborhood with convenient transportation options. Plenty of shopping and dining options in the area, although you’ll also be amidst crowds of tourists around the station. The area probably is more suitable to single apartment hunters looking for a good balance between nightlife and commute distance to downtown Tokyo. While you can move to Asakusa as a family, you might be more interested in the family-friendly neighborhoods in Setagaya Ward, Minato Ward, and Koto Ward.

Since Asakusa is located along the Sumida River, residents will have front row seats to one of the largest firework festivals in Tokyo. The fireworks show takes place at two locations on the river: one location near Sumida Park and another to the south of Asakusa Station. The festival draws in crowds of tens of thousands, so it does result in one crowded and busy day in the neighborhood.

Overlooking the Sumida River: Asakusa to the left, Skytree to the right. Photo: Andrey Grushnikov via Flickr

Short History of Asakusa

Asakusa is one of Tokyo’s oldest entertainment districts. In the Edo period (1603 – 1868), merchants residing in nearby Kuramae district started to develop disposable income. As a result, many entrepreneurs took opportunity to open theaters and geisha houses in Asakusa. In fact, Asakusa is Tokyo’s oldest geisha district, with 45 actively working geisha performers.

Useful Info at a Glance

Supermarkets

Nearby Supermarkets Hours Address
Life Asakusa shop 9:30 AM – 10:00 PM 3 Chome-18-17 Nishiasakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0035
AEON My Basket 7:00 AM – 12:00 AM 2 Chome-4-9 Kaminarimon, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0034
SEIYU Asakusa ROX Shokuhinkan 24 hrs 〒111-0032 Tokyo, Taito City, Asakusa, 1 Chome−25−15 Roxビルb1
Ozeki Asakusa Kaminarimon store 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM 〒111-0034 Tokyo, Taito City, Kaminarimon, 2 Chome−16−11, The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon, 1階 by HULIC
SanPei Store FreshFood Market 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM 2 Chome-14-16 Nishiasakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0035

*This is just a selection of supermarkets in the area.

Gyms

Nearby Gyms Hours Address
ROXフィットネスクラブbegin Mon. – Fri.: 7:00 AM – 10:30 PM

Sat. – Sun.: 9:00 AM – 9:30 PM

1-25-15 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032

*These are just examples of gyms available in the area.

Ward Office, Police, Library

Nearby Community Center/City Hall/Police Station Hours Address
Taitō City Hall Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Wed.: 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

4 Chome-5-6 Higashiueno, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0015
Asakusa Police Station 4 Chome-47-11 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032
Taito Ward Kaminarimon Residents’ Center Mon. – Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

1 Chome-37-3 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032

Hospitals/Clinics

Nearby Hospitals/Clinics Address
Taitō Hospital 3 Chome-20-5 Senzoku, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0031
Sensoji Clinics 2 Chome-30-17 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032

*These are examples of hospitals/clinics in the area.

Parks

 


Asakusa Apartments

Apartments for rent near Asakusa Station:

With its rich history and convenient location close to downtown Tokyo, the Asakusa neighborhood is definitely an appealing area for anybody looking for an apartment in Tokyo. The only downside is the relatively higher number of crowds due to the tourist attractions in the area, but everywhere in Tokyo is crowded to a certain extent. It is possible to find studio apartments near Asakusa Station for as low as 70,000 per month.

Apartments For Rent in Asakusa

Where should you live in Tokyo? Check out all our Tokyo Area Guides to find the perfect place!

Lead photo: Justin C. via Flickr

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