If you’re looking to experience Japanese food and culture in the capital of Japan, Tokyo, where should you go? Beyond a shadow of doubt, it’s Asakusa!
Sensoji Temple, with its famous Raimon gate, is there, and there are numerous snack and souvenir shops in Nakamise dōri too. From tempura and soba to sushi, there are an overwhelming number of restaurants and shops with long histories entwined with Japanese culture.
With so many things to see, you can just pick your favorite spots to customize your own journey, making Asakusa a wonderful place for solo travelers.
Here, we’ll be introducing a few sightseeing spots in Asakusa. They’re all places that you can enjoy at your own pace while travelling solo!
Hitori Shabushabu: Recommended gourmet for solo travelers in Asakusa
Shabu-shabu, a type of hotpot, is one of the representative cuisines of Japan, and is popular among foreign visitors as well. But with such a huge pot and large serving sizes, it can be daunting to try it out on your own.
In answer to this, in 2019, “Wagamama Shabushabu TOKYO Asakusa shop” was opened”, and it’s one of the very few “one pot per person” style shabu-shabu buffet restaurants in Japan.
Each table comes with one induction stove per person, allowing each person to have their own pot. The restaurant is large with 102 seats, and it’s easy to enter on your own as well.
The restaurant makes use of a modern-Japanese concept, with Japanese style folding blinds and fabrics used as part of interior décor.
The course starts from 2500 yen (without tax) (about 23.40 dollars) per person. The most popular set meal among foreign visitors is the standard course, which comes with both pork and beef loin and ribs, for a total of four types of meat, at 3000 yen (without tax) (about 28 dollars) for 120 minutes. As the shop owner, Andō, says, “As beef is especially popular among foreign visitors, we want them to be able to choose a reasonably priced course.”
The variety of food at the buffet is impressive, with 23 types of vegetables to choose from, including Chinese cabbage and mushrooms, eight types of hotpot dishes including fish dumplings and tofu, nine types of side menu items including pickles and gyoza, five types of noodles including udon and Chinese styles noodles, and three types of desserts (limited to one per person). With no hotpot foods and ingredients from other countries, this is the best chance to challenge yourself to try authentic Japanese cuisine, and get a taste of Japanese culture!
Since opening in 2019, guests from all over the world have visited the restaurant. Besides patrons from China, Korea, Thailand, and other Asian countries, there are many visitors from France, Italy, and other European nations too.
In the words of the owner, Andō, “We welcome solo visitors from other countries as well. Especially for people who come from cultures where everyone sharing food from a single pot isn’t the norm, we hope that we can provide some relief for them amidst the unfamiliar food culture.”
As the restaurant is by reservation only, reservations have to be made online before going down. English, Chinese (both traditional and simplified), and Korean websites are available.
Be sure to try this fresh new approach to solo style hotpots while in Asakusa!
Wagamama Shabushabu TOKYO Asakusa shopワガママ シャブシャブ TOKYO 浅草店
- Address Ichigo Pagoda Asakusa 8F, 2-16-9, Raimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo-ku
- Phone Number 03-6231-7959
Opening hours: Mondays to Sunday, public holidays and eve of public holidays: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Last order for food and drinks at 10 p.m.)
Open year round
Photo Studio Nanairo: Recommended sightseeing spot for solo travelers in Asakusa
Though the feeling of freedom during a solo trip is great, chances to get your photos taken are scarce when compared to travelling in a group. If you’re eager to have a commemorative photo of your trip to Japan, “Photo Studio Nanairo” is the place to go.
The photo studio allows you to change into a variety of traditional Japanese costumes from the Edo period to take photos in, including samurai, kabuki actors, and oiran courtesans. Prices start from 18000 yen (without tax) per person for samurai costumes, and 25000 yen (without tax) per person for kabuki costumes. With over 200 costumes available for rent, you’ll be spoilt for choice picking out your favorite costume!
Hair and makeup for the shoot will be done by a professional hair and makeup artist. Particularly for the Japanese courtesan costume, the oiran, the appeal is in the flamboyant and striking makeup. After all, with a pro makeup artist, you can experience what it’s like to feel like a real oiran courtesan!
The photoshoot is also done by a professional cameraman. With elaborate sets, it’s almost as though you’re shooting for a commercial instead! Once you’ve finished your shoot and changed out, head down to the reception to receive your photos.
The receptionists can speak both English and Chinese. You can tell them about the type of photos you want, and the image you want to portray, and they’ll be able to pick out the most appropriate outfits for you. This experience will definitely be an unforgettable part of your trip!
Khaosan Tokyo Samurai: Accommodations for one in Asakusa
The starting point of any journey is the hotel. For solo travelers who aren’t too fussy, why not give this type of lodging a try? Khaosan Tokyo Samurai is a capsule hotel with the feel of a guesthouse.
Japan’s capsule hotels come with simple facilities, with just a sleeping area, lobby, and bathrooms. However, Khaosan Tokyo Samurai special point is that it comes with common areas as well, allowing travelers in the dormitory rooms to mingle.
There’s also a common kitchen that’s open 24-hours, where you can cook your own meals. You can interact with other travelers in the dining space and share stories of your journey, and maybe even find a few other kindred souls!
The sleeping spaces are cozily separated, and come with a locker for valuables, a mirror, a foldable desk, charging ports, and USB chargers (only with deluxe beds). As security is tight, even first timers and those unaccustomed to dormitories can put their minds at ease.
Though the feeling of freedom is one of the main plus points of solo travelling, interacting with others is one of the great joys of it too. You can go out singing your own tune in the day, and return at night to pass time with some new friends, and that’s the charm of going solo.
3-16-10, Nishiasakusa, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 111-0035
Asakusa Station （Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Toei Asakusa Line / Tobu Isesaki Line (Tobu Sky Tree Line) / Tsukuba Express）
1 minute on foot
- Phone Number 03-3844-0011
- Address 3-16-10, Nishiasakusa, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 111-0035
In Asakusa, it’s definitely possible to have a fulfilling time traveling alone. We hope that these recommendations have been helpful for planning your own trip, for a wonderful and unforgettable visit to Asakusa!
Written by Ran Tanaka
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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