Asakusabashi, a historic wholesale business district in Tokyo
Asakusabashi 浅草橋 is a district located between 2 major tourist attractions in Tokyo, one is Akihabara known as 'Electric City', and the other is Ryogoku 両国, the Sumo Town. Since Asakusabashi is known as an old business district, not many tourists visit there for sightseeing. However, Asakusabashi is an interesting wholesale business district that has a long history of merchants that sell a unique variety of Japanese goods such as toys, stationery, and most importantly Japanese traditional dolls.
In Asakusabashi, there are large stores selling traditional Japanese dolls called Hinaningyou 雛人形 and Gogatsuningyou 五月人形. In Japan, there's a custom of celebrating children's development by celebrating with a display of dolls.
On March 3 is Ninamatsuri ひな祭り with Hinaningyou: The Girl's Festival and the area is decorated with dolls of prince and princesses.
On May 5, is Tangono Sekku 端午の節句 with Gogatsuningyou: The Boy's Festival. A replica of Samurai's Armor & helmet is displayed.
Famous brand stores that carry these types of dolls are:
Another feature of Asakusabashi, is many merchant's specialize in shop decorations, stationery, and jewelry accessories like necklaces, bangles, rings etc. These shops are available for retailers, but everybody can buy items, at low wholesale prices.
At stores handling shop decorations, you can buy artificial flowers, illuminations, wrapping papers and those items used at your regular shop in Japan. They also handle seasonal items, like decorations for Halloween and Christmas.
At shops handling accessories, you can buy various types of objects, like beads, glass balls, crystal stones and laces, used to create necklaces, bangles and rings. Young designers or women who like creating their own fashion accessories, visit these shops. Most of these shops are small and located in small alleys. So, we recommend you walk around in small back streets too.
Asakusabashi is also known for a place having many stationery wholesale shops. For example, Shimojima is one of the biggest stationary wholesalers in Asakusabashi.It has several branch shops in Asakusabashi, and the biggest one is 5th Floor high building where you can find any kinds of stationery. https://www.shimojima.co.jp/index.html
Excellent for Souvenirs Hunting
Furthermore, there are many shops that handle traditional Japanese goods in Asakusabashi, great for souvenir shopping.
How to get Asakusabashi
You can reach Asakusabashi by taking JR Sobu line to the Asakusabashi Station that is next to the Akihabara Station. You can even walk from Asakusa to Asakusabashi. It would be a 25-minute walk or so. You can also take the Toei Asakusa Subway Line from Asakusa, 2 stations away.