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Fortune and good luck will follow you
The lively focus of traditional life in Tokyo, Asakusa Kannon is the city’s most vivid reminder of the Edo era. Although the current buildings are constructed in a distinctly un-Edo-like ferroconcrete, they do offer an indication of the older city that lurks beneath the modern jacket of Tokyo.
Most people enter from the south, through the main gate, Kaminarimon, past the stalls of Nakamise Dori and then through the two-storey Hozomon gate into the temple grounds proper. To the left stands a five-storey, 55m (180ft) pagoda, the secondhighest in Japan; ahead are the magnificent sweeping roofs of the Main Hall, with the gold-plated Gokuden shrine inside.
Behind and to the right is Asakusa Jinja, the starting point of the Sanja Matsuri. A huge bronze incense burner stands in front of the Main Hall. The smoke is believed to have curative powers, and visitors usually stop to ‘bathe’ in it, often directing the smoke towards a troubled part of the body. You can make a wish, pick your fortune or buy good-luck charms from stalls. Other buildings and gardens occupy the extensive grounds.
Asakusa Kannon Temple
Phone: mple 3842 0181/shrine 3844 1575
Open Hours: Temple & Shrine 6.30am- 5pm daily. Grounds 24hrs daily
Bunkyō is known for its many universities, including the prestigious University of Tokyo, all of which give the neighborhood a young vibe, with students walking down the slopes, and families enjoying the lush parks and gardens. The “Capital of Culture”, Bunkyō doesn’t disappoint in terms of entertainment: this is the site of the Tokyo Dome, with its mall, amusement park, bowling alley, and off-track betting center. And if you want history, there’s plenty to see as well.Find out more about Bunkyō
The site of the Imperial Palace, Japan’s seat of power, Chiyoda is the epitome of Tokyo’s beauty and appeal. The Imperial Gardens invite travelers from all over the world with their impeccable landscape, and free entrance. The Yasukuni Shrine, another free attraction, gets crowded in the cherry blossom season, and the National Theatre of Japan performs traditional arts. There’s still room for shopping and fine dining here, and you can spend days exploring the wonders of the small Chiyoda.Find out more about Chiyoda
Chūō is the shopping mecca for both travelers and residents. Ginza is synonymous with wealth, glamor and all things premium, with numerous department stores, and boutiques selling the finest of anything. The neighborhood is home to restaurants that serve the very best Japanese food. Some of the city’s great culture with the leading kabuki theater, and countless art galleries can be found here as well. And let’s not forget Asia’s largest fish market, Tuskiji.Find out more about Chūō
Minato is where most of the foreign travelers go for a wild night out. The ward’s Roppongi districts boasts a number of nightclubs, entertainment complexes, baths and spas, as well as high-end hotels, some of the city’s best art museums, and some of its finest restaurants. ‘Cities-within-a-city’ Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown both offer stylish, sophisticated experiences, while the rest of the area goes about its debauchery undeterred.Find out more about Minato
Shibuya boasts the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing, a giant shopping center, with gargantuan video screens playing pop music, and the youngest of the Tokyo crowds looking for the hippest fashion accessories. Shibuya has it all: shops, bars, restaurants, clubs, karaoke boxes, cinemas and plenty more – all of it cheap, cheerful, gaudy and fun. Leave your pretensions in the hotel room and dive into the youthful heart of the city.Find out more about Shibuya
Shinjuku offers a bit of everything for everyone. From high-end fashion boutiques, to bargain outlet stores, the seat of the metropolitan government is an ideal neighborhood for the budget conscious travelers as well. Between its skyscrapers and neon-clad high rises you’ll find cozy little bars, and the most salacious red light district. Last, but not least, the world’s busiest train station is also here, which explains the crowds.Find out more about Shinjuku
For travelers, Taitō is the ideal spot to experience Tokyo at its most authentic. A neighborhood where old temples harmonize with new high rises, Taitō has something for everyone. Young crowds hang around Bunkyō’s University of Tokyo, while shoppers stroll down Yanaka Ginza, a shopping street full of traditional, quirky little shops. Romantics and artists can be found in Ueno, Tokyo’s best-known cherry blossom viewing spot, while history buffs take in the temples of Asakusa.Find out more about Taitō
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