My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: October 11, 2019
The historic Asakusa district—with its bygone Tokyo shitamachi charm—is home to the famous Sensoji Temple and chiselled rickshaw pullers along the Sumida River that flows through Tokyo. This is set against Tokyo Skytree that, as the world's tallest tower, is the pinnacle of Japan's modernity.
The district of Asakusa revolves around Sensoji Temple, but there is much more to the area. You can take in serene riverfront views, hop on a boat for a river cruise or immerse yourself in local history with a ride on a rickshaw that once served as the commoners' main mode of transport in the area. Take home with you a little piece of Asakusa, whether your own handicraft from a traditional Japanese workshop or a souvenir from one of the Nakamise shopping street vendors. You can easily get to Asakusa Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, the Toei Asakusa Line, and the Tobu Skytree Line. The Asakusa Pier on the Sumida River is also the terminal stop for water buses coming from the Odaiba district.
Cross the Kototoi Bridge that spans across the Sumida River, connecting historical Asakusa with the modern Tokyo Skytree tower and entertainment complex. During the day, you can see pleasure crafts cruising up and down the river, while at night, catch the bright lights of Tokyo Skytree reflecting off the water's surface.
If you are visiting in spring, join the crowds for a hanami flower-viewing picnic during the height of the sakura cherry blossom season. With hundreds of cherry trees lining the river, it is easy to see why Sumida Park is one of Tokyo's top sakura spots. And in summer, jostle with the crowds for a good view of fireworks during the annual hanabi festival.
Tokyo Skytree is, as of 2018, the world's tallest tower at 634 meters tall. Go just before dusk and watch the city magically change from day to night from the tower's observation deck. You will also be greeted with unparalleled views of Mt. Fuji on a clear day. On bad weather days, there is even a virtual reality service so that you will not feel like you are missing out. End your trip with a visit to the Tokyo Solamachi shopping complex at the base of Tokyo Skytree, where you can find over 300 shopping and dining options. There is also a planetarium, an aquarium and a postal museum, along with plenty of original souvenir shops.