Welcome To Tokyo’s Iconic Sensoji Temple!
Everyone who visits Tokyo makes a stop in the Asakusa district, where Tokyo’s iconic Senjoi temple is – with this entrance:
Just past this entrance is a long street, where you can buy a wide variety of tourist stuff…yes, that’s me at the bottom right:
Recently, SoraNews24 reported that this area is at the center of a big controversy. As they reported:
“This shopping street, located inside the temple grounds, is known as Nakamise Dori (literally “street of inside stores”), and it’s one of the oldest shopping strips in Japan. Today, approximately 89 shops can be found along the 250-metre (820-foot) long approach to the temple, selling all sorts of Japanese souvenirs and traditional food and confectioneries.”
Here is a look at the area from above:
As SoraNews24 reports, a massive rent increase could drive all of these shops out of business! This would be a disastrous thing for the city:
“The reason for the increase appears to be due to the fact that the storeholders had previously been paying rent to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, because although the land that Nakamise Dori is situated on is owned by Sensoji temple, the buildings on the land belong to Tokyo. However, in July, Sensoji bought the buildings on the land from Tokyo, which is why the incredibly cheap current average monthly rent of 23,000 yen (US$261.50) will soon shoot up to 370,000 yen.”
The Japan Times also reported on the story:
“Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple, was established in the seventh century and attracts around 30 million visitors annually who typically enter through the iconic Kaminarimon gate and walk along bustling Nakamise dori before paying their respects.
Ichiro Morita, a spokesman for the union representing the Nakamise shop owners, said it was consulted by Sensoji in September regarding the fee adjustments.
“Sensoji told us that the going rate in the area is around ¥250,000 per 10 sq. meters, which is around 16 to 17 times the current rate,” he said. “We told them we were troubled by the idea and wanted to negotiate.”
A Tokyo government official said the city collects around ¥25 million annually from the shops, which comes down to an average of around ¥23,000 per month per tenant.”
It would be a shame for this unique area to change – let’s hope they figure something out!
My wife and I had a musical adventure when we went here, as Alex found a restaurant that sings to you while you eat a bento box! Check out the performance:
You can click here to see our meal and get more info about this terrific lunch performance:
Music seemed to follow us everywhere in Tokyo – we came across a “Tokyo Pop Idol” rehearsal in Ueno park as well:
You can read about that entire adventure by clicking here:
Let’s hope Asakusa’s famous shopping area can survive!
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