Not sure about what to get as souvenirs for your family and friends back home? Then pay Asakusa a visit! You will be spoilt for choice as there are lots of trinkets and tidbits to choose from. On top of this, you will also be able to appreciate the more traditional side of Japan in modern Tokyo.
Asakusa’s Sensoji Souvenirs
Thinking of Sensoji souvenirs, the ever bustling Nakamise Shopping Street comes to mind. As one of Japan’s oldest shopping streets, it stretches from Kaminarimon till Sensoji Temple’s Hozomon, lined with little souvenir stalls on both sides, and is always brimming with visitors.
You can spend quite some time here as there are many shops to explore! Most of them sell similar goods, therefore, you will need to delve into the ones that catch your eye.
Classic Souvenirs but Everyone Likes
From keychains, magnets and stickers adorned with Mt. Fuji to handkerchiefs and handmade wallets with Japanese motifs, you are bound to find some great stuff to gift your loved ones.
Price range differs from shop to shop, but you can expect to pay as low as ¥150 for a pocket tissue holder and more than ¥5000 for a handcrafted item.
T shirts with Kanji is Always Popular
The one on the picture has 2 kanji characters which are “samurai” or Japanese warrior and soul. If visiting Asakusa, you can find so many T-shirts like this with Kanji such as Ninjya, Nippon, Fuji and so on.
Asakusa Original Ningyo-yaki Sweet
Ningyo-yaki or a little doll shaped cake is sweet snack that you can buy in Asakusa. The filling is basically the pasted red beans but recently, you can find some with custard cream or chocolate cream.
Kaminari okoshi is an Another Asakusa Original Sweet Snack
Crispy rice mixed with syrup and peanuts, Kaminari Okoshi or Thunder Rice Snack has many flavors like green tea, sesame and so on. Tokiwado Kaminari-okoshi shop (常盤堂雷おこし本舗) on the left side of Kaminari-mon is always crowded because they show how to make Kaminari Okoshi in real. They will be sold immediately, so you can enjoy a bit warm Kaminari Okoshi.
Halal Food is also Found in Asakusa
Sometimes, you can find halal food in souvenir shops in Nakamise street. The picture shows rice crackers with seaweed. Very a small round shaped snack, and it tastes very simple and salty. Everyone including kids and the aged people can enjoy it.
- Spot name: Nakamise Shopping Street, Asakusa
- Street address: 1-36-3 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
- Access: About 4 minutes’ walk from Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)
- Opening hours: 9am - 7pm (varies from shop to shop)
Uniquely Japanese Souvenirs in Asakusa
There are other places within Asakusa that you can go to as well to search for uniquely Japanese souvenirs. Here are some recommended spots to check out if you are interested in obtaining Japanese-style items:
Asakusa Denbouin Street
A far more relaxing and wider shopping street, you can be sure to set sights on some of the best things on offer, which includes handmade Japanese hand fans, hand-painted leather wallets, artisanal combs, and even the favoured Edo Kiriko (cut glass).
Price range differs from shop to shop and some items are of higher quality compared to others, so you may have to pay a premium.
- Spot name: Denbouin Street, Asakusa
- Street address: 2-3-5 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
- Access: About 6 minutes’ walk from Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)
- Opening hours: 10am - 7pm (varies from shop to shop)
Asakusa Hisago Shopping Street
Consider coming here if you intend to get a kimono with wooden sandals (geta) or any other item that represents old Japan.
- Spot name: Hisago Shopping Street, Asakusa
- Street address: 2-14-13 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
- Access: About 11 minutes’ walk from Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)
- Opening hours: 11am - 6pm (varies from shop to shop)
On the 7th floor of this shopping mall, you will come across numerous shops selling mostly East Tokyo-style products.
- Spot name: EKIMISE, Asakusa
- Street address: 7F, 1-4-1 Hanakawado, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0033
- Access: About 2 minutes’ walk from Tobu Asakusa Station and 5 minutes’ walk from Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)
- Opening hours: 10am - 8pm daily
Where to Find Cheap Souvenirs in Asakusa
On a budget but still want to get something for your loved ones? Fret not, as Don Quijote is an excellent place to acquire loads of souvenirs without breaking the bank!
A discount chain store that is scattered throughout Japan, the branch in Asakusa is a mega one that’s open all day, all night, all year round. It’s filled with thousands of products ranging from cosmetics to fashion accessories to electronics to seasonal goods.
A suggestion is to get something fun and yummy like Kit Kats, as they come in diverse flavours like green tea, sakura, even wasabi and pumpkin cheesecake, and many others.
- Spot name: Don Quijote Asakusa
- Street address: 2-10-14 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
- Access: About 2 minutes’ walk from Asakusa Station (Tsukuba Express Line) and 10 minutes’ walk from Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)
- Opening hours: 24 hours, all year round
Are There Halal Souvenirs in Asakusa?
For Muslims, don’t worry as you can also obtain halal certified snacks in Asakusa.
Below are some recommendations:
Halal Okaki by Hyoubandou
A traditional Japanese snack that’s savoury, okaki is mochi (rice cake) that is cut into small pieces, then fried in vegetable oil, making it crispy. Hyoubandou sells it for ¥650 per pack and has a variety of flavours to choose from - seaweed, red pepper, and wasabi.
- Spot name: Hyoubandou
- Street address: 1-18-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Access: Located just behind Asakusa Kaminarimon
- Opening hours: 9.30am - 8pm daily
Another traditional Japanese snack that’s sweet, kaminariokoshi (Thunder rice cracker) is made from steamed sweet rice that’s been roasted to pop, then mixed with other ingredients like peanuts, and formed into rectangles using sugar and starch syrup.
Price varies depending on size of pack with the biggest one being sold for ¥540 each and flavours available are matcha, seaweed, white sugar, and black sugar.
- Spot name: Tokiwado Kaminari-okoshi shop (常盤堂雷おこし本舗)
- Street address: 1-3-2 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
- Access: About 3 minutes’ walk from Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)
- Opening hours: 9am - 8.30pm daily
Halal Samurai Ramen Umami
This make-at-home-yourself ramen has the authentic Japanese flavour you can safely enjoy as it contains NO animal products (so it’s vegan!), MSG or alcohol. Each box is ¥800 and can be found in the Muslim-friendly goods section in Don Quijote Asakusa.
Asakusa Souvenir Shops
So, there you have it! Some souvenir tips that Japan lovers know. Not only is Asakusa an incredible sightseeing spot that beautifully represents old Japan, but it also has plenty to offer souvenir-wise - costly or affordable!
Take the time to explore the likes of Nakamise Shopping Street for something traditional, or Don Quijote for cheaper options, or even Hyoubandou if you plan to get halal snacks.
Just remember to bring enough cash with you as not all of the establishments accept payment by card.