The Asakusa Culture Tourist information center is located in front of the famed Sensoji temple. The center, which provides visitors with plenty of information on the neighbourhood, is quite popular thanks to the free observatory located on the upper floor. From above, one can see well the main hall of Sensoji as well as Tokyo Skytree and Asahi’s golden poo.
Hoppy dori is a famous drinking street of Asakusa, located just west of Sensoji temple. Many drinking establishments and izakayas are located on that street which was once the meeting place of choice for those who wanted to gamble on horse racing. Hoppy is actually a drink made of a mix of a diluted beer-like soda and schochu. It was a popular beer alternative among gamblers in the days when beer was less affordable. Nowadays the street is popular among both locals and tourists visiting Asakusa.
The Tokyo national Museum contains diverse exhibitions of Japanese cultural heritage with an impressive collection of art and archaeological artefacts, including many national treasures. We visited only one of the six buildings that forms the Tokyo National museum. The Honkan, which is the main building, exhibits Japanese artworks from Buddhist statues to elegant traditional clothes. A large collection of ancient weapons and armors is also on display.
The Yanaka area is a district of Tokyo with an atmosphere reminiscent of the old days. Besides the large Yanaka cemetery, many smaller cemeteries are found in the region. Each of them is attached to a small Buddhist temple. It is a nice area to take a casual walk and enjoy a certain feeling of being in old Tokyo.
Kamiya bar is located in Tokyo’s famous historical district of Asakusa. It is famously knows in Tokyo for the unique drink it serves: “Denki Bran”. Denki Bran is a mix of brandy-like alcohol but the exact receipy, however, is a well guarded secret. The best way to enjoy Denki Bran is to drink it in between two glasses of beer I was told. Of course, one liter beer glasses are available. Kamiya bar also serves food that do a good job at accompanying the drinks.
The sight of Tokyo Skytree is quite surreal in the night sky of Tokyo. One very good spot to see Tokyo Skytree is located a short walk South-East of Sensoji temple close to the Asakusa train station. On the northern riverbank of Sumida river, a short set of stairs lead you to a walkway right next to the water.
You will get a very good view of Tokyo Skytree, and if you are there at dinner-time, you will see a lot of boats pass by. Those brightly-lit boats are “Yakatabune” where you can eat and drink while cruising the Sumida river. This type of restaurant-boat is a landmark in Asakusa.
To the right of Skytree, you will also see the strange golden sculpture atop the New Asahi building. Many Japanese refer to this sculpture as the “Golden Ounco” which translates to “Golden Poo”.