Monday, December 24, 2007

Asakusa, Japan

Asakusa is a temple town, which have preserved a certain atmosphere of the old Tokyo. This atmosphere of old Japan attracts many tourists throughout the year. Usually, many people visit Asakusa during New Year's holidays and festivals. History said that during the Edo period, it marked the Northern limit of the city. It was where the out-classed such as the prostitutes, yakusas and priests lived. In the Meiji era, it was in Asakusa where the first public cinema opened, where the first Western operas were shown and the like.

The Kaminari-mon Gate near Asakusa station leads the way to the temple. It cannot be missed with its huge red lantern and two evil-looking protectors: Fuujin, God of Wind and Raijin, God of Thunder.

Asakusa's main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century.

Most tourists visiting Asakusa will probably see the small souvenirs shops along the Nakamise-dori, between Kaminari-mon and Senso-ji. It is the ideal place to look for traditional Japanese goods such as yukata, red lanterns, lacquer boxes or Buddhist statues.

Asakusa remains a place of entertainment. It was the site of kabuki theaters and a large red light district. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, modern types of entertainment, including movies, set foot in Asakusa.

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