Nakamise Shopping Street: Must-Try Asakusa Street Food

Enjoy Tokyo's street food! Nakamise is a traditional shopping street located at Sensoji Temple, Asakusa

Nakamise Shopping Street crowded with visitors

Tokyo’s most visited tourist destination, Asakusa is known for the great historical site complex and the old downtown atmosphere. The area attracts both Japanese and foreign tourists all year around. The symbol of Asakusa is Sensoji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo that draws 30 million visitors early. After passing the famous entrance of the temple “Kaminarimon Gate”, there is a temple approach called Nakamise, one of must-visit places in Asakusa area.

Nakamise Street (仲見世通り) has a long history and is believed to be established in early 18th century when locals of Asakusa were granted permission to open shops on the approach to the temple. In 1885, all shops were closed by the order of Tokyo government as the area was reconstructed in the Western style bricks. However, those building were destroyed during the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, then rebuilt in 1925, but destroyed again during the bombing of World War Ⅱ.

The view from above: Nakamise Street in Asakusa

Today, Nakamise is a shopping street lined both sides by local shops selling snacks, sweets and souvenirs. The 250m long street stretches between the front gate (Kaminarimon Gate) and the inner gate (Hozomon Gate) and takes about 10 mins to walk through (only if you can walk without stopping for shopping or eating!)

Nakamise Street is full of shops and food stalls, and it’s a great spot to try authentic Japanese street food and hunt for traditional souvenirs. On this street, visitors enjoy “Tabearuki” (means ‘walk-and-eat’ in Japanese) while sightseeing the historic temple.

In this article, I’d like to introduce some of must-try street food and snacks on Nakamise Shopping Street. So let’s take a look!

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Explore Asakusa in depth with the “Asakusa Cultural Walk & Matcha Making Tour”, a small group tour with an English speaking local guide that gives you a great opportunity. You can learn about the rich history of Asakusa and experience the tradition and culture in the town within 3 hours. Starting with a visit to Sensoji Temple, the tour includes unique and traditional activities such as tea ceremony experience using the highest quality Matcha and Monjayaki cooking, a must-have local cuisine in Tokyo. Check the attached link below to find more details about the tour!

▶️Book the Asakusa Cultural Walk & Matcha Making Tour!

1. Ningyo Yaki

Traditional souvenirs sold at Asakusa

Ningyo Yaki: Unique mascot shaped cakes from Asakusa

Copyright: harukasan

Ningyo Yaki is the most popular souvenir from Asakusa and sold at many shops on Nakamise Street. It’s a sweet cake filled with sweet red bean paste usually in shapes of dolls,birds and Asakusa’s symbolic lantern “Kaminarimon”.

Watching a making process of the cakes is also fun! Check their traditional way to bake which hasn’t been changed nearly 100 years. Don’t forget to try it fresh,too!

Watching the demonstration of making Ningyo Yaki at Nakamise Street

2. Candies

Beautifully shaped candies are another popular souvenirs here. Colourful small candies are too cute to eat! They are often sold in beautiful traditional patterned cases.

Colourful Konpeito candies

Beautifully shaped Japanese candies sold in boxes

This unrealistically beautiful candy is called “Amezaiku” which is a traditional Japanese candy craft art.

Candy craft art in Japan: Amezaiku

↓↓Visit the most amazing hand-made candy shop in Tokyo! ↓↓

3. Kaminari Okoshi

Asakusa's traditional snack, Kaminari Okoshi

Another significant snack in Asakusa called Kaminari Okoshi is sweet puff rice crackers which has been beloved by locals since 18th century!

4. Kibi Dango

Mochi cakes covered by roasted soybeans flour

Kibi dango is sweet and soft rice cakes in a stick covered with Kinako flour (roasted soybean flour) which is one of traditional Japanese sweets from Edo period and at Kibi Dango Azuma in Nakamise street, you can enjoy their demonstration sale and try fresh.

5. Rice Crackers

Hand-made rice crackers sold at Nakamise Street

Various Japanese rice crackers

Try freshly made rice crackers! There are sold in various different flavours,toppings, sizes and even thickness or hardness! Nakamise is a great street to know about Japanese strong disciplines for rice crackers.

6. Imo Yokan by Funawa

Popular dessert: Imo Yokan

Imo Yokan is sweet potato jelly, which is a traditional Japanese confectionery. Funawa (舟和) is a long established Japanese sweets shop and indeed the creator of the Imo Yokan.

7. Bar Hopping

Hoppy Street in Asakusa filled by small Izakaya pubs at night

Photo by Magical Trip

The shops on Nakamise Shopping Street close at night, but you can explore the nightlife in Asakusa after dark, too! Join the bar hopping tour in Asakusa with a local guide! You can visit hidden local bars at the backstreet, and enjoy drinking with delicious authentic Japanese food like locals! Check the link below to find out more details 😉

-How to Get Nakamise Street

Nakamise Shopping Street is only few steps away from Asakusa station! Accessible by Toei Asakusa Line or Tokyo Metro Ginza Line.

Take A3~A5 exit for Nakamise Shopping Street!

Ticket gates at Asakusa Station

Check more unique shopping streets in Tokyo! ▶️ 10 Best Shopping Streets in Tokyo

Did you enjoy the list? For more info around Asakusa area, please check out these articles, too!

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"The world is my oyster" A globetrotter 🌎 and hammock lover 🌞 who loves taking adventures to fuel wanderlust. Born and raised in Japan, I have lived and explored countries around the world. As a resident of Japan and based on my travel experience, I'd love to share my knowledge and tips for travelling Japan with my readers. I hope my story will help you plan your trip and have a great time in Japan 🌈