Foto Friday: Stepping Back Through Time in Asakusa, Japan

Foto Friday: Stepping Back Through Time in Asakusa, Japan

Every Friday I’ll be sharing a photo from someplace in my travels.

This week’s photo is of stepping back through time in Asakusa, Japan.

Asakusa is the center of Tokyo’s shitamachi, or “low city”. Named for its lack of tall buildings, for centuries it was the entertainment center of Tokyo. Filled with large kabuki theaters and geisha shuffling down the streets, it was later heavily damaged during World War II, but a few areas survived giving visitors insight to the past. Surrounding areas have since been rebuilt, but Shinjuku’s Kabukicho has since taken over as Tokyo’s leading entertainment district.

Tucked away in Asakusa is a series of alleys and streets that is often overlooked by tourists who seem to only flock to Sensoji Temple and Nakamise for shopping. Resembling old Edo, this part of Asakusa instantly transports you back through time to simpler days. You’ll often find vendors pushing traditional food carts and you may have to jump out of the way as rickshaws come rushing by. If you’re lucky come nighttime, this is still the only place in Tokyo where you can catch a glimpse of working geisha. This is the Tokyo of yesteryear.

Tokyo, Japan

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  • rebecca says:

    love this! keep the Japenese photos coming

  • Rhonda Albom says:

    Like you, I like to walk down the real streets, not just the tourist areas. Wonderful photo, thanks for sharing.

    • Beth Williams says:

      Thanks Rhonda! I think it’s always more interesting to get a better idea of local life by getting off the tourist trail.

  • Charlotte says:

    I love Asakusa it’s one of my favourite places in the world. Back when I was a student in Japan, I went there with my (then) boyfriend and we hired bikes and went through the streets in the early morning. That was such a good time… Your photo brings it all back!

    • Beth Williams says:

      Aw, glad I could help bring back some good memories. I certainly miss my time from when I was a student in Japan as well!

  • Jameela says:

    Wow thank you for this glimpse of the Japan I dream is seeing one day the traditional Japan that now exists in stories only… and in Asakusa apparently

    • Beth Williams says:

      Old Japan certainly still exists in a handful of places… you just need to know where to go :)

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