Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center is not just a valuable source of sightseeing advice, but one of Asakusa’s newest sightseeing attractions. The Center, which opened in April 2012, is housed in an attractive contemporary building of timber and glass that was designed by Kengo Kuma. Kuma is of course the world renowned architect who designed the New National Stadium that will be the main venue for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center is more modest in its design and purpose, but it is still a very striking structure with the appearance of a stack of separate wooden buildings that have been piled up on top of each other at different angles.
Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center’s facilities include an information counter, an exhibition space, a café, and an observation deck. All the facilities are free to enter. The Tourist Information Center also organizes its own free English language guided walking tours of Asakusa every weekend.
The staff at the information counter speak English, Chinese, and Korean as well as Japanese. Sightseeing maps and brochures in these languages are available and the staff will be happy to take enquiries about local sightseeing attractions, culture, and history, as well as offering advice on transport and accommodation. Staff can also provide information on cultural experiences such as cooking and kimono-wearing experiences.
Other facilities include a foreign currency exchange counter, free Wi-Fi internet access, computers that visitors can use to access the internet for free, a multipurpose toilet, and a nursing room with baby changing facilities.
From the open terrace Observation Deck on the 8th floor of the Center, you can get a good view of the Kaminarimon, with Nakamise and Sensoji Temple on one side, and on the other side is another splendid view of Tokyo Skytree and the Asahi Flame. There is also a café on the 8th floor where you can get light meals, snacks, beers and other refreshments.
Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center is located on the south side of Kaminariomon-dori Street, and is directly across from the Kaminarimon Gate.
From Exit 1 of Tokyo Metro Asakusa Station on the Ginza Line it is a 1 minute walk.
From Exit A4 of Toei Asakusa Station on the Asakusa Line it is a 2 minute walk.
From the Main Exit of Tobu Asakusa Station on the Tobu Skytree Line it is a 3 minute walk.
From Exit A1 of TX Asakusa Station on the Tsukuba Express Line it is an 8 minute walk.
Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center is open every day from 9.00-20.00.
Miharashi Café on the 8th floor is open every day from 10.00-20.00.
The Observation Deck closes at 22.00.
Article by Michael Lambe. Photos by chariari/pixta (1) and Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.