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The Shutter Art at Nakamise Street - Bringing Color to Nightlife in Asakusa



2022.02.10 (Thu)

By Charlotte, long-term Tokyo resident & history-loving traveler

If you have ever been to Sensoji Temple, Taito City, you may know that the road leading to the temple is a shopping district. This district is called Nakamise Street, and is one of the oldest of its kind in Japan. It originated approximately 300 years ago. With the establishment of the Edo Shogunate (the political seat of the samurai government) in what is now Tokyo, the population at the time grew, and with it so did the number of visitors to the Sensoji Temple. As this happened, workers at the Sensoji Temple precincts were given the privilege of opening stalls within the precincts and on the street to the temple. This went on to become Nakamise Street.

Did you know that Nakamise Street still has more to offer, even after the stores have closed? When the stores close and lower their shutters, beautiful images appear. These shutter arts at Nakamise Street depict the history of Asakusa and traditional seasonal events, making the area great to experience the atmosphere of Asakusa even after the stores are closed.

These shutter arts were created around 20 years ago during the project to make Asakusa a new visitor destination. These highly artistic pieces were worked on mainly by professors and lecturers from the Tokyo University of the Arts. Visit Nakamise Street at night or in the early morning to see the other side of this famous shopping district.

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