Asakusa Nishisando is one of best local shopping streets in Asakusa. Take a look when you visit Senso-ji Temple. To get to Asakusa Nishisando, walk through the temple grounds from Kaminarimon Gate with its huge red lantern through Nakamise Street. When you reach the Main Hall, turn left and walk past the temple’s pagoda. You will see the Asakusa Nishisando arcade in front of you.
The side towards Senso-ji Temple has some fun spots to take pictures. On the left side there is a seasonally changing background - currently it is a wall of blue pinwheels for the summer. On the ride is a cardboard cutout that makes you look like you are part of Asakusa’s famous Senja Matsuri festival. The whole arcade has a traditional festival theme with banners inside showing famous scenes.
If you are hungry, there are several places to check out. Naritaya near the exit towards Senso-ji Temple makes halal ramen and tsukemen noodles with a chicken-based soup. Namara on the opposite side of the arcade serves Hokkaido ramen. Popular items are the thick miso-flavored soup and sets with ramen, rice, and gyoza. Karaage Toyama sells deep-fried karaage chicken and bento boxes. Also take a look at the other small local cafes and bars.
For dessert, have a big melon pan at Kagetsudo, the shop located on the corner towards Senso-ji Temple. The shop also has a cafe space. Although it is most famous for melon pan, kakigori shaved ice and pies are also popular. Asakusa Omatsuri Gurume in the middle of the arcade sells ice monaka, a scoop of matcha, red bean, strawberry, vanilla, or chocolate ice served inside a thin crisp monaka cake. The new Tezuka Osamu Shop & Cafe also serves sweets and drinks.
Many of the other shops in Asakusa Nishisando sell traditional style Japanese clothing and accessories. You can find textiles used to make kimono and yukata, sandals, and bags. Some of the shops sell traditional outfits that craftsmen wear while others specialize in clothing for dancing and performing on stage, because Asakusa had many theaters in the past and a few still remain. Other stores have fun ninja and samurai items, everything from swords to toys.
The Asakusa Nishisando arcade is a fun place, perfect on hot or rainy summer days.