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Asakusa Morning Guide: From Breakfast to Shopping and Sensoji, it’s More Pleasant in the Morning!

Asakusa Morning Guide: From Breakfast to Shopping and Sensoji, it’s More Pleasant in the Morning!

Date published: 1 November 2019
Last updated: 5 August 2020

Year round, tourists from both within and outside of Japan gather in Tokyo’s Asakusa for sightseeing. From Japan’s oldest temple Sensoji to Asakusa’s landmark Raimon Gate, the area is full of attractions and things to see.

Because of this, it’s usually overcrowded with tourists, making it difficult to take that perfect photo, and ruining what should have otherwise been a smooth holiday... And so, it’s recommended to visit Asakusa in the early morning instead, when there are fewer tourists around.

We’ll be sharing the merits of visiting Asakusa in the morning, and recommending a few shops that open earlier in the day. From an old-time coffee shop which opens from 6:30 a.m., to a shop which created one of the area's most popular snacks, we’ll be introducing several spots where you can start your day off right!

Why visit Asakusa in the early morning: Tour popular spots such as Raimon gate and Sensoji at a leisurely pace!

From between 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., normally crowded spots in Asakusa such as Kaminarimon Gate and Sensoji are almost empty, making it the perfect opportunity to take pictures without any passing stragglers. There’s no need to wait at the same spot with your camera in hand for the perfect moment to come, and you can just snap your photo and move on to your next spot with ease.

The big red lantern at Kaminarimon Gate makes it the number one photo spot for visitors. It can get really crowded as it approaches afternoon, so for a full shot of this iconic landmark, it’s best to go in the early morning.
Nakamise dōri, a straight road which leads all the way to Sensoji Temple. Though the shops haven’t opened, there’s a calm and tranquil atmosphere, and you can walk straight to Sensoji Temple from here.

Built in the year 628, over 30 million people visit Sensoji Temple annually. But in the early morning, even this street is sparse and uncrowded. You can take you time appreciating the beauty of Japanese architecture.

For those that visit at 6 a.m., you can watch the monks at Sensoji Temple striking the “Toki-no-Kane”, a bell which keeps the time.
There are many people who come to Sensoji Temple to pray at the temple. In the early morning, you can immediately pay your respects without having to queue up.

Though there is a charm to leisurely touring the area and taking in the history and architecture of the area when you come in the early morning, most shops still aren’t open, and it can be difficult searching for just sightseeing spots to entertain yourself with.

Here are four shops which open early in the morning that the LIVE JAPAN team is recommending, after much careful deliberation!

Café Tomorrow Asakusa: Opens from 6:30 a.m. everyday

Café Tomorrow Asakusa: Opens from 6:30 a.m. everyday

A coffeeshop with a long history, “Café Tomorrow Asakusa” is a place to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee in the morning. As it opens from 6:30 a.m., it’s perfect for early morning sightseeing in Asakusa. Though the shop is outfitted in a retro style, there are English menus available. As the place also provides free Wi-Fi, A.C. adaptors, and even smartphone charging cables, it is particularly tourist friendly.

The most popular item in the morning is the “Mix Morning Set”, at 660 yen (with tax). With a main of toast with ham and scrambled eggs, it comes with a side salad and soup as well, for a hearty and filling breakfast.

“Mix Morning Set” *Items in the set may be seasonal and are subject to change
The coffee is made used Tomorrow’s original special blend. With a mild and light flavor, it’s delicious and suitable for anyone

Along one of the walls in the café is a bookshelf lined with books donated by the shop’s regular customers. Patrons are free to read them at their pleasure.

The restrooms provide various amenities as well, including nail files, facial paper (for gents), and blotting paper (for ladies), and is a nice touch of service. If you’re visiting Asakusa, be sure to drop by!

  • Cafe Tomorrow Asakusa
    喫茶店 友路有 浅草店
    • Address 〒111-0032 Tōkyō-to, Taito City, Asakusa, 1-chōme−29−3 2F
    • Nearest Station Access: 5-minute walk from Asakusa station (Tobu Railway, Tokyo Metro)
    • Phone Number 03-5828-5577
    • Opening hours: 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
      Open year round

Tokiwado Kaminari Okoshi Honpo: Open from 9 a.m., it’s right next to Kaminarimon Gate!

Tokiwado Kaminari Okoshi Honpo: Open from 9 a.m., it’s right next to Kaminarimon Gate!

“Tokiwado Kaminari Okoshi Honpo” is right next to Kaminarimon Gate, and is a unique Japanese snack shop with a long history, and beautiful Japanese architecture. The shop’s namesake, the “Kaminari Okoshi”, is a bestseller that has been sold for the past 200 years ago! Made by mixing roasted rice with various types of sugar before being hardened into candy, its selling point is in its light sweetness.

At 500 yen (without tax) for a pack of four different flavors of white sugar, black sugar, matcha, and seaweed, the “Jōisobe 4 type mix” is the perfect souvenir
Another popular item, the “Ningyōyaki Okoshi”, costs 600 yen (without tax), and is a castella with sweet bean paste in the center. Be sure to enjoy its gentle sweetness!

Depending on the time of day, you may get a chance to see the snacks being made as they’re sold too, and you can eat the freshly made kaminari okoshi as you stroll down the street. On the second floor is the “Raimon Tenbō Shokudō”, a café where you can gaze upon Kaminarimon Gate while enjoying a meal. It’s a must-visit sightseeing spot in Asakusa!

  • Tokiwado Kaminari Okoshi Honpo
    常盤堂雷おこし本舗
    • Address Address: 3-6-1, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to, 111-0032
    • Nearest Station Access: 1-minute walk from Asakusa station (Tokyo Metro, Toei Subway, Tobu Railway, Tsukuba Express exit 1)
    • Phone Number 03-3841-5656
    • Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
      Open year round

Kimono Rental Vasara: Sightseeing in Asakusa in a kimono

Kimono Rental Vasara: Sightseeing in Asakusa in a kimono

At Kimono Rental Vasara, you can rent one of Japan’s iconic traditional costumes, the kimono, and stroll through the city in it. Asakusa, with its numerous historic Japanese style buildings, is the perfect location for wearing kimono in. The shop has staff who can speak English, Chinese, and Korean, which makes it easy for foreign visitors to use their services well.

With so many cute kimono and yukata available, feel free to choose your favorite from the enormous selection.

Besides kimono rentals, the shop provides services for Sadō, traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, making it the perfect place to experience authentic Japanese culture. Just a two to three-minute walk away from Sensoji Temple and Kaminarimon Gate, it’s in the perfect location to rent and return your rentals with ease. If there’s one place that can significantly rank up your sightseeing experience in Asakusa, it’s this!

The shop opens from 9 a.m., so why not pop by for your after-breakfast stroll around Asakusa?

  • Kimono Rental Vasara
    着物レンタルVASARA
    • Address 2-1-13, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to
    • Nearest Station Access: 3-minute walk from Asakusa station (Tokyo Metro, Toei Subway, Tobu Railway, Tsukuba Express exit 1)
    • Phone Number 03-5577-5882
    • Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
      Open year round

Asakusa Ekimise: where over 150 shops are gathered

Asakusa Ekimise: where over 150 shops are gathered

Beginning with just Japanese restaurants, Asakusa Ekimise has grown into a convenient shopping mall, with over 150 shops including souvenir shops, boutiques, electronics, traditional Japanese goods, daily necessities, and more! As it’s connected directly to Asakusa station, it’s convenient to visit even on rainy days. Shops open from 10:00 a.m.

The rooftop observation deck, “Hare Terrace”, is built like a radio tower, and is the best place in the world to get a stunning view of Tokyo Skytree. Furnished with tables and chairs, it’s a great place to catch a breather after shopping.

Wi-Fi is provided on the seventh floor as well, making it convenient for tourists.

  • 浅草EKIMISE
    浅草EKIMISE
    • Address 1-4-1, Hanagawado, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to, 111-0033
    • Nearest Station Access: 3-minute walk from Asakusa station (Tokyo Metro, Toei Subway, Tobu Railway, Tsukuba Express exit 1)
    • Phone Number 03-6802-8633
    • Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Restaurants on the seventh floor open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
      Open year round

There’s a Japanese saying that good things come to those that get up early, and there are many merits to visiting Asakusa in the early morning. You can enjoy a fresh morning at temple, have a relaxing breakfast, and begin your sightseeing adventure in Asakusa with a good start!

<@Written by: Medium KK|@>

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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