Asakusa or Shinjuku

Old Jul 28th, 2006, 09:43 PM
  #1  
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Asakusa or Shinjuku

I think we've selected the
tokoyu inns. But which area is the best to stay in as they have several?
Asakusa or Shinjuku

Thanks
shantai is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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I always prefer Asakusa to the other areas of Tokyo, so obviously I'm going to say this is the best area to stay-it has everything the tourist would want-little traditional shops that have been in families for generations, there's the Sensoji temple with its beautiful gardens, (make sure and see the gardens on the temple grounds Denbo-in) there are great little restaurants, (an expensive but very good tempura restaurant in this area is NAKASE-with a beautiful interior garden). You enter the pedestrian shopping area leading to Sensoji-temple through Kaminarimon Gate (Thunder God gate) with its huge paper lantern hanging over the entrance (one of the most photographed sites in Japan) Kaminarimon gives onto Nakamisi-dori -the pedestrian shopping area where you will see all sorts of shops selling tradional Japanese handicrafts, and you can also sample here freshly made rice crackers (sembei) and other food specialties, in addition to buying nice souvenirs. (one of the shops just before the temple-Sukeroku-specializes in traditional hand-made dolls of the Edo period).
And of course, there's Senso-ji temple itself, where you can burn incense, and get your fortune read by shaking the chopsticks, or just stroll around the temple complex at night-Asakusa is this great little haven of Zen calm and tranquillity in the midst of the crowds, traffic and noise of central Tokyo.

Although it is up in the north-eastern part of the city, it is still easily accessible to everywhere in central Tokyo within minutes on the Ginza subway line.
Girlspytravel is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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Hi Shantai,

Another vote for Asakusa - it was our base for a Tokyo visit in Feb and we always looked forward to returning there at the end of the day. As Girlspytravel's already said, the Sensoji temple "complex" is a wonderful area to explore, and the shopping is great too (my favourite is a shop specialising in washi (rice paper) products - I think it's called Kurodaya? - right near the Kaminarimon Gate. As GST also mentioned, there are great choices for dining - if you like sushi try Maguro Bito, a popular conveyor-belt sushi bar (I don't have the address on me at the moment though).

In sum, I'd go for Asakusa over the frenzied Shinjuku.

cheers, foxymoron
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 06:18 PM
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I ate at that conveyor belt sushi restaurant,Foxymoron-it was packed with locals when I was there! It's just off Nakamisi-dori-but that's the extent of my directions.

There are a LOT of good restaurants in Asakusa; many little local Japanese places, but a terrific Thai/Vietnamese restaurant as well-all within a short walking distance of each other off the Nakamisi-dori.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 06:53 PM
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I would also vote for Asakusa - we stayed there and also ate at the conveyor-belt restaurant (if you follow the other covered arcade off to the left of the main one, you can't miss it)

We found Shinjuku to be quite sleazy as well as frenetic, we would have hated to be staying there.
ozgal is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2006, 03:02 AM
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I agree with all the posters here. We stayed in Asakusa area (Toyoko Inn) during our trip in Mar. It is a quiet area esp after dark but that's how we like it. It is well connected by subway so getting anywhere is not a problem.

My son loved to see people walking their cutes doggies in the morning & evening. To me Asakusa has the residential feel to it and more laid back than Shinjuku.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 06:01 AM
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Another vote for Asakusa! We based our Tokyo part of our family trip out of Asakusa a few years back, and it was a fabulous place to stay. All members of our extended family from age 9 to 80 really enjoyed being there.

The quiet beauty of Japan is evident in the residential areas surrounding Asakusa. One of my favorite activities is just walking or running through the residential areas of Tokyo and it is just plain nice to be able to do that very close by.

But, don't forget to hop on the subway and go to Shinjuku and see Isetan, my favorite department store!
Tsutomu is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2006, 09:10 AM
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Gee, I don't think I've ever seen a unanimous thread on Fodor's when given a choice!
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 10:46 AM
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shantai:

Let me offer this favorable opinion on my favorite neighborhood, Shinjuku.
Shinjuku offers what a lot of other neighborhoods in Tokyo cannot, a little of everything.

Shinjuku, being one of the biggest and most diverse areas in Tokyo, can offer you, Shinjuku West, which is located out the west exit of the Shinjuku train station (which is Tokyoís busiest) home to the financial district of West Tokyo with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at itís center. You can go up to the top of two of the towers here for free and have spectacular views of Tokyo. On a clear day you can see all the way to Yokohama and have picture perfect shots of Mt. Fuji that we enjoyed on our April visit this spring. Two of the hotels that we have used on our visits to Shinjuku are located in this area, The Keio Plaza Hotel and The Century Hyatt Hotel.

Right above the train station is where the major shopping area is. Shinjuku is a paradise for shoppers. It has more department stores than anywhere else in Japan. The most famous are Takashimaya-Times Square, Isetan, Mitsukoshi, Marui, My City and Odakyu.
Shinjuku boasts the biggest camera shops, such as Sakuraya, Yodobashi Camera and Bic Camera. Only Akibara(sp) has bigger.
Music lovers will find their happiness at Tower Records and HMV.
Out the east exit of the station will take you to the Kabuki cho district which is entertainment district par excellence and one of the hottest places in Tokyo, with hostess bars, adult video shops, soap lands (massage parlors), strip bars and love hotels
And of course my favorite part of Shinjuku the Takadanobada District with all of itís cute, quaint, shops and restaurants which remind me of a time in the past.
Just a different point of view to help you make up your mind. Hope this helps!

Aloha!


hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2006, 09:31 PM
  #10  
mjs
 
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I do not think that there is a "best place" to stay in Tokyo if your choices are Asakusa or Shinjuku. It really depends on what you like. I, myself would prefer Shinjuku for better hotels and more convenient transportation to parts of Tokyo I tend to frequent. The Circle train line and subways make it easy to get anywhere from Shinjuku. Asakusa is certainly not a bad choice for a hotel location and it is quieter than Shinjuku and more residential and perhaps more "real". It is not as convenient for transportation purposes as Shinjuku but the subway system in Tokyo is so good that you can get anywhere in Tokyo without much problem.
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