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Asakusa Tour: Edo History and Senso-ji Temple

Uncover the former Geisha district of Tokyo with a local expert
From US$238 privately
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Tour Details
Duration
2 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Senso-ji
  • Asakusa
Photos & Highlights
  • Tour of Asakusa district led by an expert in Tokyo history
  • Gain deeper insight into the city's transformation from village to metropolis
Select a date
Tour Description
During this two-hour Asakusa tour, we'll join a local historian and Tokyo expert to explore this exciting neighborhood sitting in the "low" area of the city, away from Tokyo’s flashy lights and business centers. Also known as the geisha district, the Asakusa area was well established before the Tokugawa Shogunate began to rule from Edo—what later became Tokyo—in 1603. We will discuss this national narrative as we walk through this area that still hints at some of the character of old Japan. We'll explore the role of Asakusa as a sleepy fishing village turned geisha district, and look at larger themes of pleasure and entertainment in the history of Tokyo, all the while getting a great feel for the atmosphere and culture of this popular area of Tokyo.

Asakusa Tour

To frame the story of Asakusa's place in Edo (now Tokyo), our Tokyo walking tour revolves around Buddhist temples. We'll weave between Asakusa past and present, discussing its importance and significance to Japan’s distant history, but also such recent topics as the after-effects of WWII and the birth of the plastic food that can be found across Japan. We'll come to better understand how the neighborhood has evolved—and stayed the same. We’ll discuss Asakusa's role as an entertainment district, ukiyo (the "floating world" pleasure-seeking culture of Edo-era Japan). This is one of the main reasons why Asakusa became what it is: without the trade and development of the merchant houses, there would have not been enough money to float around in the "floating world."

For further exploration of the evolution of modern Japan, try our Tokyo Architecture Tour.

We'll walk briefly along shopping street Nakamise Dori, discussing how Asakusa was rebuilt after WWII firebombing. Our Asakusa tour ends, however, at Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple, Senso-ji. This is one of Tokyo's most important religious sites, badly damaged during WWII but eventually rebuilt. We may also discuss the Asakusa shrine, which lays on the grounds of the Buddhist temple showing that unique mixture of Shintoism and Buddhism that has, in many ways, made Japan what it is today. Senso-ji and its Japanese-style garden make for a quiet place of contemplation, and it's here that we'll wrap up our walking tour.


For a day trip from Tokyo further examining places of religious importance, try our Kamakura Tour.

Take Aways

Wrapping up our scholar-led Tokyo Asakusa Tour, we'll emerge with a stronger understanding of the many roles this neighborhood has played in the history of Edo/Tokyo as well as the area’s overall connection to the rest of the country.

FAQs

Is this walk appropriate for teens or younger?
Yes, If you would like to book this walking tour in Tokyo as family tour, please let us know. We will adjust the content to be family-friendly. For children under 13, we also have designed this special tour that is appropriate for younger audiences.

Is this tour suitable for visitors with mobility issues?
This tour isn't very walking intensive, however, we recommend visitors with mobility issues to reach out to us to ensure we can alter the tour to accommodate their level of mobility.

What happens if it's raining?
Our tours happen rain or shine. Our guides are great at adapting their route during changes of weather. Please bring an umbrella.

Is it okay to tip my guide in Japan?
Yes. Context clients generally tip anywhere from 10-25% of the purchase price of a personal service such as this, depending on the quality of the experience and their tipping habits.
Where You'll Start
54 Reviews (4.6)

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

Insightful, helpful, interesting-a great way to get an understanding of some of Tokyo’s complex history.
Maciej was a great tour guide and very knowledgeable about the culture and history of the area. Thank you very much!
An excellent tour with a fantastic guide.