Strolling down Sumida-gawa

At the doors of Sensoji Temple, Asakusa
Located in Taito-ku along the west bank of the Sumida-gawa, the Asakusa district once thrived as a temple town for the nearby Senso-ji Temple. Nowadays, it is a downtown area that rivals Ginza, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Shibuya.
The town has an old, traditional feel, with the famous Kaminari-mon Gate and large red lantern.
A short history on the backstory of Sumida-gawa.
Sumida-gawa means: Sumida River.
During the Edo period, lords and ladies took a boat along the Sumida River to Asakusa and the Sensoji Temple. Today, a sightseeing boats take a similar route departing from the traditional Hama Rikyu Garden close by.
Sumida River
Travelling by Suijo-bus or water bus – down the Sumida River not only gets you a faceful of fresh air, but also brings you closer to Tokyo’s river-borne heritage, showing off a more home grown perspective of the city than the subway will. 
When you’re hemmed in by concrete and glass, it’s easy to forget that Tokyo’s vibrant river systems are the arteries through which its commerce has traditionally flowed, from the Edo period up till now, the present day.
Tokyo Skytree in the background
An interesting aspect of a visit to Sumida River is that in the right spots, visitors can also view the new Tokyo Skytree. 
The structure is located only a few kilometers away across the Sumida River, and towers above almost everything in the area world. Having such a modern marvel so close to a piece of Japan’s history like Sensoji Temple, is definitely a sight to behold and convenient for anyone wishing to visit both while in Tokyo.
“Hello!! See me??”
It’s a nice way to get to Asakusa district and see another side of Tokyo. You travel under some interesting old bridges past the modern new apartment districts of Tokyo.
Lets eat bananas!! These are chocolate coated bananas sold at Yatai(s) – Street food stalls
“Banana, anyone?”
New V.S. Old
The legend of Asakusa
The history of Sensoji Temple goes back far into the past…
Sanja Matsuri
Legend has it that fishermen brothers discovered an image of Kannon: the “Goddess of Mercy” in the Sumida River around the year 628 and were inspired to enshrine it. The temple’s symbol is the “Gate of Fujin & Raijin” adorned with a large red paper lantern that bears the inscription “Kaminari-mon”, meaning: Thunder Gate.
Sensoji holds yearly festivals such as these
There is a constant flow of visitors and worshipers to the temple throughout the year.
Numerous shops along Nakamise-dori Street, which runs along the approach way to Sensoji Temple, carry a variety of small articles made of Japanese-style paper and other traditional goods such as folding fans. It is a lovely shopping street that attracts many foreign visitors.
Asakusa is also known as the site for many traditional events. The Sanja-matsuri is a festival of Senso-ji Temple, and is famous for the palanquin parade that is said to convey the “Edokko Katagi”. 
“Edokko Katagi” stands for: the spirit of the children of Edo, representing the traditional spirit of the original townsfolk of Tokyo. 
Other festivals include Cherry Market festival in summer and a Rooster Market at Otori-jinja Shrine in early winter and finally, the Japanese Battledore Market, called: Hagoita-ichi, held towards the end of the year. 
The most popular event in Asakusa though, is the fireworks display along the Sumida River in summer, which over one million people gather to watch.
Nakamise shopping street in Asakusa
A place to visit as it is one of the famous shrine in Tokyo. There is also shops along the way, where you can find typical Japanese souvenirs to bring home.
One of the many draws to visiting Japan is having the opportunity to experience an ancient culture. If that appeals to you, then make a plan a visit to Sensoji Temple in Tokyo’s Asakusa District!
Sensoji Temple
Sensoji is beautiful when it’s illuminated at night
This temple which also goes by the name of Asakusa Kannon Temple – is Tokyo’s oldest; originally built in the year 645.
Unfortunately, like so many structures in Tokyo, much of the ancient work was completely destroyed during World War II. However, the architecture of the modern temple is just as exquisite, and the culture and history can still be felt today.
 In terms of architecture, Sensoji Temple has an abundance of intricately designed buildings which are beautiful both at a distance and up close. 
At the entrance to the main temple is the Hozomon Gate. 
Among other things, this gate is used to store special artifacts related to the temple.
Adjacent to this gate is a beautiful five storied pagoda, which is also used to store various important items for the temple. Last but certainly not least is the temple hall itself. Most notably the main hall has a massive and steep roof which can be seen from a distance above other temple structures. 
As one would expect, the temple is considered a national treasure and is visited by people from all over the world each year.
This is Sensoji Temple
One custom is the spreading of smoke of incense over oneself, which is considered to purify, heal, and bring luck. Visitors can also buy small pieces of paper called Omikuji, which have words of luck written on them – though be advised, not all of them are good luck!
While the temple grounds are fascinating, there is plenty of shopping to enjoy in the area as well. The path leading up to the temple is known as Nakamise Dori, and is lined with shops selling various items such as “Osenbei” – Japanese rice crackers, Japanese fans and clothing, and of course typical tourist items like keychains and postcards.
There are also many side streets which connect to Nakamise Dori, lined with shops and restaurants of their own.
Speaking of restaurants, if you’re hungry when you visit Sensoji, there are options for all kinds of tastes here. Sushi, Udon, Yakitori, and a host of other delicious Japanese dishes are available nearby. 
Just explore, trust your nose, and you’re sure to find a place that will hit the spot.
As you can see, Tokyo’s Sensoji Temple is a must-see and well worth the trip. 
Between the architecture, history, culture, and tourist attractions, it’s the perfect place to spend a few hours exploring and enjoying the wonder of Japan!
Sensoji Temple is the most well known and #1 tourist sight, in Asakusa
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About Joshua Hideki

Hi! I'm Hideki. You can call me Josh! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Welcome!!~ This is a Travel Blog covering Japan, and many other bits & pieces of my personal life. Photography, Blogging, Fashion & Traveling in Style. A travel guide for everyone with these passions. Absorb the mesmerizing atmosphere, take in amazing sights & let the enchanting ambiance take you away as you embrace different cultures & see the world through my eyes - my Eternal Memories. Visit my Blog at: ! Come discover Japan from the inside with me and also we'll provide you with the best destinations to visit; and that includes the rest of the World too! Please enjoy! Discover Japan & Travel the World with me!! Life is precious, you only have one so live it to the fullest!

18 thoughts on “Strolling down Sumida-gawa

  1. Hi Josh~
    How are you doing?
    I’m just in love with Asakusa, it have a magic atmosphere mixing modern and traditional.

  2. thank you for always posting such nice post!!
    by the way very sweet couple picture you have there too !

  3. Great photos ; D I see you had nice day ; D

  4. Your fiancee is sooo pretty Josh 🙂 You guys make a perfect couple.

    I was wondering, in the picture with the caption ” Among other things, this gate is used to store special artifacts related to the temple.” What are the people reaching for or doing?

    Also, I LOVE your bomber jacket! I want a silk one from Japan like that. =)

    I enjoyed this post a lot.

  5. M+K

    It looks like you’re having an amazing time. we’re actually planning on finally visiting japan some time this year, so we can’t wait! Where would you recommend we go for good shopping in Tokyo?

    • Hello!! We had a wonderful time all right! 🙂
      That’s really cool,I hope you have a great time in Tokyo!
      To answer your question, it depends on what kind of shopping you have in mind.

      For high-end & expensive branded stuff, Ginza is the place to go.
      For the loud, wild trendsetting fashion of Japanese teenagers, Harajuku’s your stop.

      And for those Harajuku teenagers who grew up, they’ve “moved” to Shibuya. Shibuya would present you with something edgy, yet not to loud. Ometesando would present you with branded street wear such as Chrome Hearts. Personally, I’m more toward the Shibuya clique in terms of style.

      However, the jacket I’m wearing in this entry, is more toward Traditional Japanese Oriental fashion and can similar items can be found in the Ueno Street Markets.

      Finally for office wear, simply check out any one of the many departmental stores in Japan, particularly Shinjuku.

      I hope this helps! =)

  6. OMG this looks amazing! I really really love to visit Japan again 日本へ行ったことがあります!そしてあなたの恋人がかわいい:)

  7. Hey thats great Blog i have came across 🙂 🙂 Pictures are perfect and the work too Thanks for sharing with us Awesome

  8. […] where an atmosphere of the Tokyo of past decades survives.  Asakusa’s main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. The temple is approached via the […]

  9. […] area once flourished as a fishing town a long time ago and Clams were abundant at the mouth of the Sumida-gawa River.    Some restaurants in this area still offer traditionally home-cooked Fukagawa-meshi, so if you […]

  10. […] JR Kurashiki, the scenic canal area is a ten minute walk from Kurashiki Station’s south […]

  11. […] that can be found all around. There are Catholic Churches, Christian Churches, Chinese Temples, Japanese Buddhist Temples & Japanese Shinto Shrines; and if you look hard enough, I’m sure you be able to find many […]

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