Shopping For Cheap Souvenirs At Senso-ji, Tokyo

Shopping For Cheap Souvenirs At Senso-ji, Tokyo

Thanks to popular legend, the beautiful old Buddhist temple of Senso-ji in Asakusa is one to tick off your list of Tokyo’s top sightseeing sites, as well as its oldest Temple, drawing millions of tourists each year. Besides being a fascinating place to soak up some Japanese culture, however, there’s another money saving reason for heading there – bargain shopping. Like many Japanese temples, a market on site also evolved over time. Today, Nakamise-dori Street is a lively and colourful market set within the temple precinct, which stretches over 200 metres from the temple’s Furai jin-mon outer gate, to its second gate Hozomon. Japanese markets are a hive of activity as well as great places to snap up souvenirs; Nakamise-dori has more than 80 stalls, with all manner of alluring goodies on offer. Popular cheap buys for foreign tourists include cute keepsakes such as geisha key rings, Japanese dolls and fans which only cost a few hundred yen each. For the same price, and for a fraction of what you might pay at a department store, you can also find attractive cosmetic bags and wallets made from brightly coloured and good quality Japanese fabric, and the latest small gadgets and electronics. Typical of a Japanese market, there are also plenty of stalls selling Japanese-style fast foods which you can eat while you shop, such as savoury rice crackers called sembei. As a bonus, admission to Senso-ji is free, and as Asakusa is also famous for tempura, you might also save time to visit Tokyo’s largest tempura restaurant, Aoi-Marushin, just a few minutes walk from the temple. It has six floors of table and tatami seating, and is very much a family restaurant with plenty of reasonably priced food.

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