click here if you want to know how to make the most of three nights in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
After spending three nights in Shinjuku, Tokyo, of which you can read my travel diary here, my sister and I spent another three nights in Tokyo. In the Taito region this time. I wrote a travel diary about these days too: Travel diary: 3 days in Taito, Tokio. I’ll call this the Asakusa region though, because that’s inside the Taito area and I feel like more people know this name. Of course we made the most of the short time we had again. Definitely keep on reading if you want to know what I recommend you to do when you’re in this area!
Visit the botanical garden
If you’re into going for nice walks, nature or nature photography, this is definitely the place to be. This botanical garden was designed by a Japanese guy, so it’s completely in Japanese style. Entrance is 200 yen per person.
There weren’t really any flowers when we were there, exept for one kind, but I’m sure in some seasons there are lots more. The place is not too big as well, so if you feel like going for a three hour walkt, this might not be the place. There is lots to see though! After entering you quickly spot the island in the middle of a small lake. This is turtle island. Not just because turtles live in the lake, but because the island is shaped like a turtle. On it is a shrine for the guy that designed the garden. You can’t get on the island unfortunately, but the walk around it is just gorgeous. You’ll encounter an incredible lot of photogenic scenes and locations. One area is basically a walk through a tiny forest, with lots of small pathways, turns and different ways to go. After this you’ll encouter a small pond with an island in it as well. Again, you can’t get on this island, even though there are bridges this time. Follow the path to the left and you’ll get a gorgeous view of turle island. There is also a field where they grow flowers, so if you come at the right time you’ll see them all blossem. After this place there is a walk through a tiny forest again, you can get up the hills that kind of look like rice fields but we didn’t figure out how to get there and there is a white bridge close to the exit/entrance that is perfect for taking pictures.
Visit Nakamise street
Depending on what direction you come from, if you’ve got an Iphone, you might have a little trouble finding this street. My sister has got an Iphone and when she typed in Nakemise street in her version of Google Maps it send us to Orange street. Which is fine because we planned on going there too anyways, but just so you know. Android phones such as mine, don’t do this. – another reason not to get an Iphone, lol – You’ll most likely pass a street that has a huge red lantarn hanging in front of it, you know, kind of hard to miss, and that’s the right street.
Nakamise street is a long street with lots of small souvenir shops and food shops on either side. Some street food too. It’s extremely busy but definitely worth it. Opposite of the lantarn, on the other end of the street, there is a huge red temple. You can rinse yourself with insence before you enter, buy a piece of paper with your fortune on it and go inside the temple. Surrounding this temple is a small garden with lots of statues and smaller temples in it and some food stalls next to it as well. This area is also a popular place for people to go after renting a kimono, so you might spot lots of people wearing one. The streets surrounding Nakamise street are also worth checking out. They too are filled with shops selling souvenirs, food, accessories and more.
Rent a kimono
So you can choose to just watch all of the people wearing a kimono when you’re at the temple, but why not rent one yourself? It’s quite expensive though, there is a cheaper place in Osaka, but if you don’t plan on going there, I’d defnitely rent one here! There is multiple places to choose from and I’d definitely do some research beforehand. Some places require you to make a reservation in advance, but I’ve also seen a lot that don’t. The one I found online that was cheapest was called Kyoto kimono rental wargo. Yes, it says Kyoto, but they also have a shop in Asakusa. This is the right link. Select the right shop, the package you want, and when you want to rent one. I believe that after renting you can walk around in it for pretty much the whole day, but I’m not quite sure.
Let a ricksha show you around
If you don’t really feel like walking around the Nakamise street area – or you just bought too much and are now carrying heavy bags – you can also get someone to pull you around in a cart, a ricksha. It’s quite fun to see, they are wearing nice uniforms and are probably able to tell you a lot about the area. We didn’t do this, but I’m sure it’s fun! I can’t imagine how the people pulling the carts feel though, doing that kind of work in the heat, lol.
Visit the Imperial Palace
Don’t be like us: actually check when the palace and it’s gardens are open for the general public. We didn’t and walked all the way there only to find out the entire place was closed that day. And we were not the only tourists that did! So make sure you check in advance! Even though I myself didn’t see the palace, it’s really pretty and I’m sure the garden is too since all gardens in Japan are. I mean, you can just Google it and check it out for yourself right 🙂
Visit character street and the food market in Tokyo Station
Tokyo station is located at a five minute walk from the Imperial Palace. Like pretty much every station in Japan, Tokyo station has a shopping mall attached to it and in that shopping mall there is a street called character street. If youre going to the station from the Palace though, character street is located at the other side of the station so you will need to check in and check out on the other side, which will cost you 140 yen. Rediculous, but okay. If you find a way to walk around the station that’s fine too of course.
Character street is most fun if you’re actually fan of one or multiple of the characters in this street. Each character has it’s own shop. There is a pokemon shop, hello kitty shop, pompompurin shop, etc. If you’re not into these characters, or characters at all, this street might not be the place for you. In which case, you can just go straight to the food market. In the station, or attached to it, is a department store. I can’t remember the name of it I’m really sorry, but you’ll definitely notice it if you’re walking around. It’s at the same side as character street and has lots of floors. The basement is the most interesting though. That’s how I feel at least because I love food.
The basement is basically a food market. They sell everything you can imagine, from cakes to cucumbers and from sushi to salads and everything in between. Raw foods and wine too. It’s all quite expensive though, but definitely worth to check out. Don’t forget to look for a candy shop while you’re there! Not just any candy shop, but the one that sells these tiny hard candies with shapes in them. It’s hard to miss though because there will probably be a crowd surrounding the shop. You can watch the employees make the candy! It’s really fun to watch and if you speak Japanese really well you can even understand everything they are explaning in the proces of making the candy. You can also taste the candy they made afterwards.