- 1 Asakusa Tokyo Things To Do with Kids – Spot a Sumo for starters!
- 2 Kaminarimon Gate – the famous icon of the Giant Red Lantern
- 3 Things to Do with Kids in Asakusa
- 4 World Schooling – teaching your kids as you travel!
- 5 Here’s our top 10 things to do in Asakusa with kids.
- 5.0.1 1. Keep your eyes peeled for Sumo Wrestlers
- 5.0.2 2. Shop for Sweets and Souvenirs at Nakamise Street
- 5.0.3 3. Buy a Traditional Kokeshi Doll
- 5.0.4 4. Eat here!
- 5.0.5 5. Wander off the main drag…
- 5.0.6 6. Spy the Tokyo Sky Tree between buildings
- 5.0.7 7. Take a ride in a Jinrikisha, a traditional Japanese rickshaw.
- 5.0.8 8. Visit Sumida Park for a view of the Sumida River.
- 5.0.9 9. Visit the Sumida Aquarium at the Tokyo Sky Tree
- 5.0.10 10. Visit the Konica Minolta Planetarium “Tenku” at Tokyo Sky Tree
- 6 The Inside Scoop – Asakusa Sensoji Temple
- 7 Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
- 8 Instagram: Family Travel Ideas with Roam the Gnome
- 9 Click here to follow us!
Asakusa Tokyo Things To Do with Kids – Spot a Sumo for starters!
Asakusa Tokyo Things to Do – Travelling with the kids in tow means we have to make a slight adjustment to the normal tourist itinerary to stop cries of “I’m bored”. To be honest, we are not super fans of touristy gimmicky places and while Asakusa IS a hot destination on Tokyo City Bus Tours, it’s the perfect boisterous and colourful introduction to Japanese culture for the kids. Not to mention that the Senso-ji Temple IS the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo, said to have been built in 628.
Kaminarimon Gate – the famous icon of the Giant Red Lantern
The first thing most visitors see when walking from the Asakusa station is the iconic Kaminarimon Gate,with its’ Giant Red Lantern hanging below. Here is where the fun begins – Nakamise Street. (Translation, “inside shops”) Both sides of the street are lined with shops, eateries, souvenirs, Japanese cultural ornaments, kokeshi dolls, handbags… you name it. It’s there. It’s a busy and touristy spot BUT there is something equally compelling and breathtaking about this temple that I’ve not felt at others. It feels a bit like a party street, unlike most temples in Japan where the mood is reverent and quiet! Kids will love it here. There’s no need for shushing.
At the other end of the street is the Hozo Mon (middle gate) and beyond that is where the Sensoji Temple stands. The mood here is more quiet and thoughtful (but only just.) Worshippers do come to bless, to pray, to ask for guidance and good luck. There are a number of stalls to purchase blessing trinkets if you wish to join in.
To the left, you’ll see the the Five Storey Pagoda, one of Japan’s most sacred traditional monuments in Asakusa. It is said that the top of the pagoda holds the ashes of Gautama Buddha.
Nearby a Buddha statue sits. Many Japanese people come to pray at this spot too.
Things to Do with Kids in Asakusa
World Schooling – teaching your kids as you travel!
Quite unexpectedly, Asakusa was one of our favourite places in Tokyo and Roam the Gnome and I can’t wait to take the boys in 2017. It’s the perfect place to pick up your traditional Japanese kids souvenirs – soft juggling ball sets made from traditional Japanese cloth, Kokeshi dolls, Sumo magnets and bobbing head dolls, welcoming ‘waving’ cats (like those in restaurants), miniature lanterns and souvenir tins- there’s even traditional japanese toys like spinning tops and cup-&-ball sets.
There’s plenty of food to try, but be sure to be seated. Walking while eating is prohibited here (and highly frowned upon.)
Here’s our top 10 things to do in Asakusa with kids.
1. Keep your eyes peeled for Sumo Wrestlers
We were lucky enough to spy a group of three men walking through the Nakamise Shopping St, so we asked for a quick pic. He wasn’t all too happy about it, mind you. (The other two were much more generous and smiley to the crowd.) But I do think if we had been kids, he would have been much more willing to say hi. If you spot a Sumo too, I guarantee this will be the highlight of your kid’s day. These blokes are GIGANTIC!
2. Shop for Sweets and Souvenirs at Nakamise Street
These beautifully boxed and aesthetically-presented sweets, biscuits and cakes are just what Grandma and Grandpa ordered. But we say buy at least two or three packs if you want at least one to make it home. I have a feeling you (like me) might break one open for a midnight snack too! They are SO yum. Especially the Mochi cakes with Sweet Red Bean.
3. Buy a Traditional Kokeshi Doll
Who could resist a SUMO doll? Or a Ninja? There’s Kokeshi Dolls here that we haven’t seen anywhere else. Our tip: If you find one you like, buy it. There’s no guarantee you’ll see the same one again for less. (We learned the hard way.)
4. Eat here!
Find the Asakusa Kibi-Dango Azuma shop and do not pass until you have tried this sweet treat! During the Edo period, “Kibi-dango” was popular on Sensoji’s “Nakamise” street. At this shop, they make it in front of your eyes. “Kibi-dango” is made with Kibi (Millet) Powder and sweet rice and coated with Kinako (soybean flour). Buy the drink too – the cold Matcha green tea on offer in warmer months is so good.
Open 9:30-19:00 daily. (or until Kibi Dango runs out.) Cash only. Location: 1-18-1 Asakusa. Phone: 03-3843-0190
5. Wander off the main drag…
Our best finds are always off the main drag. If you have time, take a wander and see what magic awaits you too.
6. Spy the Tokyo Sky Tree between buildings
It’s the tallest freestanding broadcasting tower in the world at 634 metres tall. (If it’s a fine day, pop this on your itinerary too. You can see the entire Kanto region including Mt Fuji on a fine day. There’s also a major shopping centre below.) Tokyo Skytree Observation Decks are open from 8am to 10pm daily. Entry fee applies. Visit the Tokyo Skytree Website for current prices. Shops 8am to 9.45pm. Open 365 days a year.
7. Take a ride in a Jinrikisha, a traditional Japanese rickshaw.
8. Visit Sumida Park for a view of the Sumida River.
9. Visit the Sumida Aquarium at the Tokyo Sky Tree
The colour-changing jellyfish exhibit is cool. One of the highlights for kids are the labs with experimental exhibitions. Kids can watch a scientist work with the jellyfish too. But the real appeal at this aquarium for most kids is the garden eel tank. Want to see a field of snake-like creatures swaying in the sand? It’s mesmerising and a bit spooky. They are paired with leaf-shaped shrimp who swim up vertically! It’s otherworldly!
Aquarium open from 9am to 9pm daily. Entry fees apply. (Under 3 free.) Visit the Sumida Aquarium website for details.
10. Visit the Konica Minolta Planetarium “Tenku” at Tokyo Sky Tree
Take a lie-down on one of their mesh seats and 4D experience a walk under the stars, with lights, sounds and smells to amaze you.
Open 11am to 9 pm. Ask at the admission desk for show times. Entry fee applies.
The Inside Scoop – Asakusa Sensoji Temple
Opening Hours & Entry Fees
- 10am to 4pm, except Sundays and holidays.
- Free entrance
- Phone: 03 3842 0181
- Temple Website
- Take a JR train to Asakusa Station. Walk from the station to the Kaminarimon Gate is less than 200 metres.
Location and Map
Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
Visiting Asakusa is a MUST-DO with the kids.
Family Travel Ideas with Roam the Gnome