Deep TOKYO “Asakusa and Kuramae East Tokyo” Guide to great food and shopping
Famous for Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise-dori Street, Asakusa and nearby Kuramae are often called “Tokyo's Brooklyn,” a popular area where not only Japanese, but many foreign tourists visit. “Asakusa and Kuramae” are areas where new and old are in a well-balanced mix, and as towns of manufacturers, the areas have nurtured downtown culture carefully and for a long time. Here, we will take some time to show you these areas that have been attracting attention in recent years, as accommodations for foreigners and nice shops have opened, among other attractions.
Using a refurbished toy warehouse, it is a pioneer among hostels—“Nui. HOSTEL & BAR LOUNGE”
They renovated a building that used to be a warehouse for toys since the Edo period, and “Nui. HOSTEL & BAR LOUNGE” started business. The name of the hotel “Nui” comes from the word “tenui (hand-sewn)” because their wish was to “cherish using hands rather than machines, cherish the feelings of people that are near rather than trying to be precise.” You will enjoy their unique interiors such as a comfortable leather sofa and cute hand-made chairs.
On the 1st floor, they have a lounge (café and bar) where non-lodgers are also welcome to use. Accommodations are in the form of a dormitory. They have mixed-gender rooms for 8, women only rooms for 8, twin rooms, double rooms, river view double rooms, etc., allowing a total of 100 people to stay.
Inside near the entrance, there is a large tree brought here from Niseko, Hokkaido, which seems warm, like a treehouse. This place is for people to connect crossing borders, and they display and sell goods, carry out music events or public talks about twice a month.
For breakfast, they serve home-made granola, crispy croissant from France, and many varieties of bread.
An example of a dish made from carefully selected ingredients and served during bar time. Roast beef don (bowl of roast beef and rice) using domestic beef (980 yen), very popular fish and chips (half-size 800 yen), and grilled Caesar salad (750 yen). Homemade original beer (BUNK BED) is also popular.
"Nui. HOSTEL & BAR LOUNGE"
●2-14-13, Kuramae, Taito-ku, Tokyo
●CAFE TIME 8:00-18:00 (paper drip coffee until 16:00), BAR TIME18:00-25:00 (L.O. for drinks: 24:30, food: 23:00)
Lodgers are from both near and far! Their first-rate services attract many repeat customers — “ashi”
At this bar, you can enjoy a set meal even in the evening. They have an array of sake, and it is a popular place where the locals come without saying, but they also attract many repeat-customers such as foreign tourists who are staying in the area. It is a downtown diner that offers high quality services that the Japanese enjoy or food that Japanese like to customers from overseas as well.
A high-impact, creative mural made by a foreign artist is impressive.
The owner aims to create a place that he can enjoy also, so that he can give the customers a good time. He is currently planning a music event at a live music club in the Kuramae area in September, inviting musicians and DJs'.
A chef originally from Oita Prefecture made these dishes, which go well with sake. Toriten and karaage (chicken tempura and deep fried chicken) 1,100 yen, edamame (boiled young soybeans), and ryukyu (sliced fish meat put into a mix of soy sauce, sake and sesame) 850 yen. They currently have a “Sake Saturday” every week where you can enjoy five kinds of sake for 500 yen a drink.
A well-balanced teishoku (set meal) made by devoting time and effort, is commonly eaten in Japan. This teishoku (lunch 850 yen, dinner 1,200 yen and up) that comes in a wide variety, uses carefully selected ingredients from Oita, where the chef is originally from, consisting of a main dish, three side dishes, miso soup, and rice, and is popular during both lunch and dinner time.
●2-6-5, Komagata, Taito-ku, Tokyo
●Lunch 11:30-14:30, Dinner 18:00～24:00 (Saturdays 18:00-25:00)
●Closed on Sundays and national holidays
Get a great view of the river in a relaxing atmosphere like your own living room — “RIBAYON”
It is a bar named RIBAYON, near the Sumida-gawa River, where you can enjoy playing table tennis. You can relax as if you are in your own living room, taking off you shoes, resting against the cushions. In the evening, you can see the Skytree lit up in the dark sky behind the full riverside view you will have through the window.
RIBAYON is on the 4th floor of MIRROR Building, which is a commercial complex with a Skytree view for facilities that create food and art.
The interiors are like a living room, an atmosphere for the mature with a lot of playfulness.
You can enjoy table tennis in a spacious living room style space. The private room in the back was created in 2017, and can be reserved. The RIBAYON shabu-shabu table tennis plan (3,500 yen per person) where you can use the table tennis table all to yourself for an hour is popular.
The very popular “RIBAYON Teiban! Buta-shabu lettuce nabe (classic RIBAYON pork shabu-shabu with lettuce)” is 1,000 yen per person (photo shows the dish for two) and “Kansai-fu Negi Yaki (Kansai style pancake with green onions)” is 780 yen.
●MIRROR 4F, 2-15-5, Kuramae, Taito-ku, Tokyo
●Monday-Friday 18:00-25:30 (L.O.), Sunday and national holidays 17:00～25:30 (1:30 AM L.O.)
※In the same building, 1st-3rd floor: Italian bistro “Cielo y Rio"（http://www.cieloyrio.com/
）, an affiliated restaurant and bar “Bon Hanabi” (located alongside Sumida River) is also popular（http://www.bonhanabi.jp/
”Tsumami-do” has a casual workshop where you can make an Edo period traditional handicraft
“Tsumami zaiku” is a traditional handicraft designated by Tokyo, where patterns of flowers and birds are created by using a technique passed down from the Edo period, by cutting small squares of “Habutae (thin silk),” pinching and folding them, then combining them together. In the shop, they sell (completed items, materials), have lectures by Tsumami artists, and do workshops of Tsumami zaiku taught by staff.
Located about seven minutes away by foot from Asakusabashi, “Tsumami-do” is a shop which has a workshop for a traditional handicraft Tsumami zaiku, designated by Tokyo. The exterior is attention grabbing with a red sign and colorful flowers on the windows.
In the shop, they sell (completed items, materials), have lectures by Tsumami artists, and do workshops of Tsumami zaiku taught by staff. You can experience making “genuine Tsumami zaiku using traditional techniques.”
Representative items are hair accessories that go well with kimonos. The technique is used in Maikos' kanzashi (ornamental hairpin).
The petals are made from fabric cut into squares. Technique used in making origami is used here, using tweezers. Each small square becomes a flower petal, and using these, you can make various plant and flower ornaments.
●3-20-16, Asakusabashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo
●Open: Tuesday-Saturday 11:00-18:00
●Closed on Mondays, Sundays, and national holidays
*The above information was last updated March 1, 2018. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.
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