Being the heart of old Edo (former name of Tokyo), Asakusa is the place to be if you want to have an authentic traditional Tokyo experience! Thanks to the famous Senso-ji Temple, the area is bustling with visitors and worshippers. But that’s not all there is to Asakusa! So explore the different sights Asakusa has to offer and authentic halal food places with our essential guide!
Founded in 628, Senso-ji is the oldest temple in Tokyo. Known as the temple of the Asakusa Kannon to the people all over Japan, it attracts approximately 30 million visitors every year.
Look out for the iconic Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) near the entrance! First built in 942, the gate has been destroyed numerous times and the current dates to only 1950.
Address: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
Subway: Asakusa Station (Tobu Skytree/ Tokyo Metro Ginza/ Tsukuba Express line) - a 5 min walk from Asakusa Station/ Asakusa Station (Toei Subway Asakusa Line) - a 7 min walk
Opening hours: Main hall: 6am - 5pm (Opens at 6:30am from October to March), Temple grounds: Always open
#HHWT Tip: Get a Tokyo Subway Ticket to enjoy unlimited journeys on all Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines for 1, 2 or 3 days
2. Rent a Kimono
What better way to explore Asakusa than to don a traditional kimono to fully immerse yourself in the cultural experience? Plus, you'll get to try how it feels like walking around in Japanese clogs! This is not just for the ladies, the men can rent kimonos too ?
#HHWT Tip: There are various kimono rental stores around Asakusa so take your pick! We rented our Kimono from Sakura Photo Kimono and we had a great experience! Don't forget to make a reservation in advance ?
Address: Tokyo Taitoku Kaminarimon1-12-12, Suzuki Bldg 4F
Subway: Asakusa station (Ginza line) Exit No.1
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 9:30 am-5:00 pm
Nakamise is a shopping street leading from the outer gate to Sensoji's second gate! You'll find a variety of traditional goods such as foldable fans, masks and accessories - definitely the best place to get souvenirs! You'll also find snack stores selling traditional rice crackers (sen bei), ice-cream, honey-glazed sweet potato and more!
Did you know that the Maneki-neko is considered a lucky charm in the Japanese and Chinese culture? It's believed to attract good luck and fortune!
#HHWT tip: As you stroll along Nakamise, do look out for Kameya, which makes ningyo-yaki - tiny baked doll cakes stuffed with red bean! Plus, you get to watch them being baked. Definitely one of our favourite Japanese snacks :P
1. Sushiken Asakusa
This sushi restaurant at Asakusa has very recently started serving dishes for Muslims! Sushi Ken creates every dish with only the finest ingredients and the freshest seafood :) If you're a die-hard sushi fan, this is a restaurant you must not miss!
Address: 2-11-4, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12:00-14:00, 17:00-24:00. Sun, Public Holiday 11:30-15:00, 17:00-22:00
With the increasing number of halal ramen stalls in Japan, you'll be glad to know that there are two to choose from in Asakusa! At Naritaya, you'll be able to choose from three types of ramen: maze-soba (noodles separate from soup), zaru ramen (cold noodles) or the signature Asakusa Ramen. Instead of chashu (thinly sliced pork) which is usually found in ramen, Naritaya uses grilled chicken. Definitely a place you mustn't miss if you're hoping to try authentic halal ramen!
Address: Asakusa 2-7-13, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan 111-0032
Opening hours: Monday - Friday 11am -10pm, Weekends 9am - 9pm
3. Sekai Cafe
The aim of Sekai Cafe is “to serve anyone including people who have diet limitation because of religion and allergies“. Sekai means world in Japanese and the cafe wants people from all over to world to have their meals together, at the same table. This cosy cafe in Asakusa caters to Muslims, Vegetarians, people with allergies and those on an organic food diet! We really enjoyed the lamb steak as well as the grilled vegetable pizza :)
Check out our in-depth review!
Address: 丁目, 1 Chome-18-8 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo, Japan
If you're heading here after visiting Senso-ji, walk about 50m on Nakamise St. from Kaminarimon, then turn left. You will find Sekai Cafe’s blue-green sign.
Opening hours: 9am - 9pm
4. Ippin (Ramen) Unfortunately, Ippin has closed down :( The other halal ramen stall in Asakusa is Ippin - named after the adorable twin brothers, Upin and Ipin, from the famous Malaysian animated tv series! The milky broth that accompanies the ramen is made from Kumamoto chicken, also known as amakusa daiou! Besides serving authentic ramen, you'll also be able to try Japanese-style curry as well as gyozas! Address: Nishiasakusa 3-16-11, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan 111-0035
#HHWT tip: With 4 delicious halal food options to choose from in Asakusa, how about trying a bit of everything in each eatery? :P
To help you out with planning your itinerary, we’ve also created a custom map with all the sights, shopping and food places mentioned above!
Don’t forget to download the HHWT Travel Planner available on both Google Play for Android and iTunes store before planning your trip to Asakusa! Our guides for Tokyo are also available on the app so you can easily access it and add these attractions to your itinerary ?
*Do note that the eateries/cafes mentioned in this article are not halal-certified, we advise our readers to visit these eateries/cafes at their own discretion :)