Shopping in Tokyo without getting wet


2018.08.23 (Thu)

Don’t let a little summer rain stop you from exploring Tokyo.

Most summer days in Tokyo are hot and sunny, but when a storm approaches it often brings rain with it. And summer in Japan is taifun season.

Here are some places in the Asakusa and Ueno area that are lined with interesting shops where you will not get wet while you are out shopping.

Nakamise Street is the most famous shopping street in Asakusa, running from Senso-ji Temple’s Kaminarimon Gate up to its Main Hall. This is the red gate with the huge lantern, a favorite photo spot in the city. And Nakamise is great for picking up souvenirs and eating sweets. Unfortunately Nakamise does not have a roof, but Shin-Nakamise Street does. This street runs across Nakamise Street from the Tobu Asakusa Station towards the Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station. And under its roof you can find many cafes, restaurants, and shops for traditional Japanese clothing like kimono and summer yukata.

Many restaurants along this street serve Japanese food, including tempura, soba noodles, sushi, and other seefood. There are modern cafes and old-fashioned „kissaten“ coffee shops where you can take a coffee break with sweets and snacks. Try some distinctly Japanese sweets made with matcha green tea or have „taiyaki“ waffles. At the taiyaki shops you can watch the bakers make these sweet treats.

On a rainy day, roofed “shotengai” shopping streets like this one are some of the best places to go shopping. For more options check out the department stores located near the train stations for Japanese souvenirs. Go to the Ekimise building at the Tobu Asakusa Station or the ROX building at the Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station. Or get off at Ueno Station. In the buildings directly connected to the train station are many shops. More big stores are located next to Okachimachi Station, one stop from Ueno on the JR Yamanote Line. And if you walk along the JR train tracks from there towards Akihabara you get to 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN. This is the street under the Yamanto Line tracks that houses a number of cute cafes and shops selling handcrafted Japanese goods.

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