Tokyo Cultural Heritage Map

Let's take a stroll around Asakusa!
Taito city Course (Asakusa)

One of the remarkable sightseeing spots in Tokyo - Asakusa! Asakusa was developed as a temple town of Senso-ji Temple. Although its old townscape of the Edo period had gone caused by the Great Kanto Earthquake and the World War II, Niten-mon Gate in Senso-ji Temple and Asakusa-jinja Shrine which escaped damage from the disasters are designated as Important Cultural Properties.

This walking course is selected to see the history and culture with its modern energy of Asakusa.

Only famous Kaminari-mon Gate and Nakamise Street are not enough to tell you the whole of this town. Let’s take a stroll around Asakusa and find its new view point!

Let's take a stroll around Asakusa!

The place name "Asakusa", which often appears in the popular period novel "Onihei Hanka-cho" written by IKENAMI Shotaro, was recorded for the first time in the history book "Azuma Kagami" in the Kamakura period. It is recorded in the book that a carpenter of Asakusa, Musashi Province was invited to build Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine in Kamakura in 1811, because there was no expert. There is also a record that three monks went from Senso-ji Temple to Kamakura to attend the memorial service of the Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa in 1192. This is the first appearance of the name "Senso-ji Temple". The surroundings of Senso-ji Temple were donated as an estate of the temple after the medieval period and developed as a temple town.

In the Edo period, while the northwest of the temple was used for residences of feudal lords or farmlands, many merchant houses were built in the southern of Kaminari-mon Gate, and Senso-ji Temple became popular among the common people. Many tea-houses were opened along Nakamise Street to the south, and shows in booths and performances such as spinning tops were run at Okuyama in the east of the main temple. The botanical garden "Hana-yashiki" was opened in 1853. The Asakusa area developed as a major entertainment town.

After the Meiji Restoration, the precincts of the temple was requestioned by the new government and came to be managed by Tokyo as the first public park in Japan "Asakusa Park" designated in 1873.

The twelve-storied tower "Ryoun-kaku", built in 1890, used to be a landmark commanding the whole area of Asakusa. The program "100 beauties" gained great popularity among people, pasting up the photographs of 100 geisha from the 3rd floor to the 6th floor of the tower and holding a popular vote. Asakusa Opera was shown at the cinemas standing side by side under "Ryoun-kaku" and enthusiastic opera fans called "Pera Goro" used to strutted in Asakusa Park. While such a new entertainment, the traditional shows like sword dance or storytelling on street, were also performed everywhere. The characteristic popular culture mixing old and new came to be created around Asakusa.

The tasteful townscape of Asakusa in the Edo period, harmonizing affection for the Edo period with romanticism in the Taisho period, almost disappeared by the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and the Great Tokyo Air Raids in 1945.

The designation of Asakusa Park as a public park was cancelled partly in 1951 and the land was turned back to Senso-ji Temple. The temple buildings were reconstructed one after another in its precincts, such as the reconstruction of the main building in 1958. As the facilities of entertainment, the entertainment park "Asakusa Hana-yashiki" reopened in 1947 which was closed during the war, and theaters and places of entertainment were constructed on the reclaimed land of the pond called "Hyotan Ike".

The attractiveness of Asakusa is the mood of Edo caused by Denbo-in Temple, Niten-mon Gate, Asakusa-jinja Shrine, etc., that were survived the two big disasters, and also the atmosphere caused by the modern popular entertainment culture of Asakusa has been handed through hundreds years.

Walking Course Highlights

Route Map


Brochure (PDF)

Tokyo Cultural Heritage Map

Would you like to go around cultural heritages? In Tokyo, there are various cultural heritages. This map helps you go around cultural heritages with efficiency during limited time in your trip. Japanese traditional temples and shrines, the cultural heritages concerned to most famous events and person in Japan and a lot of nature. This map introduces all of them widely! You must watch them and know the history and the culture of Tokyo!


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