Kaminarimon Gate, one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist attractions and usually bustling with visitors, was quiet yesterday (July 5th) evening. The gate is an iconic photo spot in the shitamachi (“low town”) neighborhood of Asakusa in Taito Ward, Tokyo. Reconstructed several times after being damaged by fire, the current gate dates from 1960 thanks to donations from Panasonic founder Konosuke Matsushita. The huge red lantern in the center (measuring 3.9-meters high and 3.3-meters wide) is made by a Kyoto lantern maker and is inscribed with the characters for “thunder gate”). The statue on the left is the God of Thunder, on the right is the the Wind God. These figures guard Sensoji (Temple), Tokyo’s oldest temple from storm, flood and fire. Photo: Scott Kouchi for Real Estate Japan
Taito Ward is the smallest of the 23 special wards of Tokyo but is home to a few famous neighborhoods. The popular Asakusa district is located in Taito, where the oldest temple in Tokyo (Senso-ji) can be found. Getting to know the area around Asakusa is a great way to feel connected to the history of Tokyo, especially through the various festivals that occur throughout the year at each shrine. Taito is also where you’ll find Ueno Park and Ueno Zoo, two very popular destinations for residents and visitors alike.
Taito Ward ranks high for affordable rent in traditional neighborhoods like Iriya and Kuramae.
Yanaka neighborhood of Taito Ward. Click on the photo for the full Taito Ward guide.