Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise Street
On a first visit to Asakusa go through Nakamise Street at Senso-ji Temple. This place is full of small shops selling Japanese souvenirs and local sweets. You can buy a box of sweets to take home as a souvenir or try a little bit of everything at shop counters. Start with some crispy Kaminariokoshi crackers and then have hot deep-fried Agemanju, and freshly baked Ningyoyaki cakes as you walk towards the temple’s Main Hall.
Kannon-Dori and Metro-Dori Street
When you have time to explore Asakusa, take a look at Kannon-Dori and Metro-Dori. This is basically one street that changes its name. It runs parallel to Nakamise-Dori, from Exit 1 of the Ginza Line Asakusa Station towards Senso-ji’s Bentendo and the temple bell.
Kannon-Dori is the shopping arcade that you reach when you step out of Ginza Line Asakusa Station’s Exit 1. Walk through it and continue after the roof ends and the street gets narrower. You can find many shops here selling nice Japanese souvenirs and goods made by artisans. There are also some restaurants and cafés.
Several shops here sell goods related to Japanese textiles. You can find second-hand kimonos, old fabric, “furoshiki” wrapping cloths, “tenugui” hand towls, “noren” curtains, and crafts made from Japanese fabrics. Shops have many cute and stylish items including bags, pouches, accessories, decorative items, and toys. One fun shop here specializes in Monchhichi monkey dolls. You can also buy traditional clothing items used at Japanese festivals near the temple.
Please note that shops have different opening hours. On weekends usually all shops are open, but some close for a day during the week instead. Especially on Wednesdays and Thursdays some shops have their day off.
Between Nakamise Street and Kannon-Dori / Metro-Dori Street
There are several small streets connecting Nakamise Street and Kannon-Dori / Metro-Dori and more shops worth looking at are hidden away in this area. Make sure to take a look around. You might find something good.
For Asakusa information (with a view)
Go to the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center located in front of Senso-ji Temple’s Kaminarimon Gate if you need guidance. Its terrace has a great view of Asakusa and you can also exchange money here.