Asakusa is the oldest and most significant example of traditional downtown entertainment district in Tokyo. Now famous among foreign visitors for the city’s oldest Sensoji Temple (built in the 7th century) with its symbolic Kaminarimon Gate and Nakamise shopping street, Asakusa is a must-visit in any Tokyo sightseeing program. The nearby Sumida River and Tokyo Sky Tree provide a wonderful background to an already picturesque neighbourhood which retains the old spirit of the Edo period.
For most of the Edo period (17-19th century) Asakusa remained Tokyo’s major entertainment district and home to many kabuki theaters, geisha tea houses, as well as a large red light neighbourhood. In the beginning of the 20th century Asakusa flourished as the birthplace of Japan’s movie theaters. Large parts of Asakusa were destroyed during the Second World War, but later the famous areas was partially rebuilt and still retain the traditional atmosphere of Tokyo’s old city. Nowadays travelers can also visit Japan’s oldest amusement park Hanayashiki, the rakugo theater area Rokku, and plenty of shopping streets that offer local sweets and traditional items.
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