I can tell you’re already asking yourself: why would anyone want to get off the train in this obscure neighborhood? Come with me, and let me show you the three hidden wonders hiding amid the drab streets of Asakusa-bashi!
#1: The dollmakers
This is the neighborhood where they make and sell the amazing doll sets for Girls’ Day, and miniature samurai armor for Boys’ Day. And they aren’t just decorative – the dolls made here can countermand curses, heal illness, and (if left out too long after the Doll Festival) delay marriage for daughters in the family. And because they’re sacred, they can’t be thrown away when they get old – they have to be cremated in a special ceremony at a shrine.
Not surprisingly, these dolls have been elevated to a high art, and sets made by the most famous artisans can cost upwards of $10,000!
There are doll sellers sprinkled throughout the neighborhood, but the grandest emporium is Kyūgetsu, right across from Asakusa-bashi Station. Here’s a map.
But dolls aren’t the only reason to come to Asakusa-bashi. The reason I’m usually there is to drop some cash at one of Tokyo’s best-kept shopping secrets…
Reason #2 – Shimojima!
Shimojima is an eight-story store that sells everything from killer origami kits to Mr. Toast masks. This is a great place to get gifts for people back home, or to stock up on only-in-Japan must-have items for yourself, at bargain prices!
Check out my detailed guide to what’s on every floor, or go on your own magical treasure hunt and discover its delights for yourself!
And the third reason to come to Asakusabashi is for crafters (although if you don’t want to check a second bag on your way home, I’d recommend you save yourself and stay away!) because Asakusabashi is home to a whole bunch of stores that are…
#3: Crafter Heaven
And another great thing about Asakusa-bashi is that it’s close to other fantastic neighborhoods you’ll want to explore. Here are a couple that are only minutes away by train from Asakusa-bashi Station:
Click here to explore more
Jonelle Patrick is the author of five novels set in Japan
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist
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