Asakusa is one of the most popular places for tourists visiting Japan and is surely a must-go! You can see and experience artifacts in this temple town which flourished during the Edo period.
Kaminarimon is the gate standing before the Sensoji Temple with a huge red lantern hanging in the middle. Kaminari means "thunder" in Japanese and mon means "gate." The gate was built by Taira-no-Kinmasa in 942. On both side of the lantern are two statues inside, called Fu-jin and Raijin, a God of wind (Fu-jin) and a God of thunder (Raijin). The lantern itself is about 4 meters tall and weighs about 670 kg.
Nakamise Dori is the street leading to the Sensoji Temple from the gate. It was first formed in 1685 and the street is about 250 meters long, starting from the Kaminarimon to Hozomon. It has about 90 stores lined up, selling teas, crafts, foods and kimonos and of course various souvenirs. Since the street is narrow it is usually crowded with so many people either from Japan or outside Japan.
Sensoji Temple is one of the oldest temples from the Edo period. Over the centuries since then, it has attracted many people, and became the center of the entertainment and commercial industry.
Due to its longevity, Sensoji Temple has been hit by earthquakes more than ten times throughout its life and is constantly being rebuilt. During the air raids of Tokyo in 1945, the entire temple was burned down. More recently, it was rebuilt in 1958.
When entering Sensoji, you will see a bronze pot where tons of incense is being burned. The smoke is said to possess divine power and to give good luck to people. Many visitors try to cover themselves with as much smoke as possible to banish any bad luck and bad health.
When you get off at Asakusa station, you may see guys wearing black tights and white tabi (Japanese socks) waiting by a carriage. These are the jinrikisha, a service where they pull you in the carriage around Asakusa and tell you historical stories while you ride. It might be a little pricey at 13000 JPY a ride, but is an experience you could only get in Japan and is definitely worth it.
Stroll around the Nakamise Dori, take a ride on rickshaw, seeing Japan through Asakusa is another way to enjoy one of your stay in Japan.