Asakusa Food Culture – Sweets and Snacks


2017.09.14 (Thu)

Asakusa is a great place for trying snacks and sweets. You can find many different kinds of traditional and modern treats near Senso-ji Temple.

Check out the traditional flavors of autumn

Sweet potato (satsuma-imo), Japanese chestnut (kuri), and aromatic yuzu are some of the most popular seasonal ingredients in the autumn. They are used to make special versions and flavors like sweet potato ice cream or “taiyaki” with chestnuts, a filled waffle shaped like a sea bream.

“Kaminariokoshi”, sweets made with crispy rice are typical for Asakusa. Several shops sell melonpan fresh from the oven, filled with cream. “Dorayaki” pancakes filled with “anko” sweet bean paste are very popular. Watch “ningyoyaki” cakes shaped like animals and figures being baked and try some. Or have a hot “agemanju” cake, the deep-fried version of steamed “manju”.

The shopping streets of Asakusa

In Asakusa there are many small streets near Senso-ji Temple full of restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. It is fun to take a look around and check out what they have to offer. There are hundreds of places here to explore. Start with some of the main shopping streets or take a look at the smaller streets.

Nakamise, the street lined with small shops inside the temple grounds is hundreds of years old. This has always been a place to pick up snacks and souvenirs during a temple visit. Most shops here specialize and some prepare sweets right at the shop. The most famous sweets to try here include “agemanju”, “ningyoyaki”, and “kaminariokoshi”.

The Shin-Nakamise Street runs from the Asakusa Station towards Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station and crosses Nakamise. There are several cafes and more old-fashioned “kissaten” coffee shops located inside the long arcade. Have a coffee and a Japanese dessert.

Other streets to check out are Dembo-in-dori from Nakamise towards Asakusa Rokku, Orange Street, and the Asakusa Nishisando shopping arcade. Here you can find more cafes and small shops selling chocolates, cakes, and ice cream. If you need a break from the sweets, go to one of the bars on Hoppi-dori.

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