Volunteers Needed!

Traveling, working, or studying in Japan? Need a free place to stay? Asakusa Smile is looking for Volunteers who will stay at least 1 month or more to help clean and do other tasks around the hostel. All is required is that you are able to clean 2 – 3 hrs per day 6 days per week in exchange for a bed!

Sounds good? Send us a mail if interested!!
Mail: questions@asakusasmile.com
Please include the following information:
Name, length of stay, current visa, any previous volunteer experiance, work experiance, any skills you have that you feel may be useful.

New volunteers will begin the last week of February!

Leave a Comment January 27, 2011

Every first saturday and third friday PARTY!

Every first Saturday and  third Friday of each month, we will have a party in the bar of our hostel.

You can make friends with local  Japanese people and other guest. Its free entry and free food for guests staying at Asakusa Smile and Bekkan. It will be a wonderful experience during your trip to make friends and connections.

We are waiting for you.

January 29, 2010


April 10, 2010

Book on Hostel world and get 10% Discount at check-in

November 29th – December 20th 2010 Book on Hostel world and get 10% Discount at check-in.

Leave a Comment November 29, 2010

LETS PARTY!!!! Party Night @ STELLA☆Asakusa

Party Night for Travelers in Japan December 10th 2010. Come join us for a great night of drinking, dancing, and of course meeting some wonderful travelers right here in Japan. All hostel guests are welcome and only 1500yen with reservation.


To make reservations please mail: asakusasmilebar@gmail.com with your name!

Location: STELLA☆Asakusa

Leave a Comment November 20, 2010

Live musical performances – Nov 6th

November 6th 2010 we will have a few special guests (Takeshi Koyo and 小島千奈) come perform here at Smile Bar. Show starts at 8pm!!! We hope to see you there!!


Takeshi Koyo




Leave a Comment October 31, 2010

Halloween Party!

October 29th – 31st

We will host a Halloween party!! All guests and friends are welcome. If you would like to wear a costume or do some sort of cosplay then we will be happy to see you dressed up in Halloween spirit! Our Halloween party last year was a big hit!! Lets make it even better this year!!

Location: Asakusa Smile Bar

Time: 7pm till Midnight

October 25, 2010

Getting Around Tokyo!

By Train:

The train in Tokyo is probably the most convenient and cheapest way to get around Japan. The bullet trains can also get you to cities like Yokohama, Kyoto, Nikko, Mt. Fuji and Hiroshima just to name a few. There are a few things to remember about the trains in Tokyo:

  • The JR railpass must be purchased before you arrive to Japan. It is only available to tourists and will save you a lot of money if you plan to go to place outside of Tokyo
    Click here for more information about the JR Railpass.
    Click here for other types of train passes and discounts.

  • Trains run from 5am till a little after midnight every day. So if you are partying far away from your hotel or hostel then it may be wise to prepare to stay out all night till 5am, find an internet cafe, or leave the club/bar before midnight if you don’t want to stay out till 5am.

  • There is the JR lines and the Subway lines. If you have a rail-pass becareful (it only works for the JR lines) not the subway. But the JR lines can get you to just about all th major cities in Tokyo, so there is no need to worry.
    Here are maps of the JR Lines and Subway Lines

  • If you do not have a railpass the most common way to purchase your ticket is from the ticket vending machines located at the entrance of every train station. Of course, you will easily figure this out on your first day in Japan. The train staff in the booths are always willing to help you so don’t be afraid to ask questions even if your Japanese is not so great.

  • There are rules posted all over the Trains. For example “turn your phones to silent.”, “save reserved seats for women with children, crippled, and elderly.” and a rule that is not posted but widely understood by most Japanese people “Keep your voices down.” Please make sure you honor these rules so that you can impress your Japanese friends and everyone around you!

By Bus:

  • (City Bus) The buses are almost as convenient and cheap as the trains. However it may be difficult to read the signs for stops or really know exactly where the bus is going unless you ask someone or if you can read Japanese. To pay for the bus you use either yen or a suica/pasmo card.
  • (Night Bus) Japan has a great and cheap way of transportation if you dont mind sleeping on a bus for a few hrs depending on where you want to go. The night buses are often very cheap and and get you from the center of Tokyo to any city in Japan. Many of our guests use this bus to get to Kyoto. Night bus will cost an average of 4,000 yen to Kyoto one way. The train can cost an average of 15,000 yen or more one way.
    Recommended night bus booking company: Willerexpress.com

By Car:

  • (Taxis) We just don’t recommend taxis unless you are absolutely stuck and desperate to get someplace. Really just don’t take taxis at all unless you are very very rich. They are the most expensive ways of getting around Tokyo and have caused many foreigners to lose most of their travel money and or have to go home sooner then expected because they became low on funds after taking a taxi from Shibuya to Asakusa after they missed the last train! If you are stuck in a city far from where you stay, it is best to seek out an Internet cafe for the night. That is what they are there for (read more about internet cafes here)
  • (Rental Car) You can pick up a rental car just about anywhere in Tokyo. They are actually very afordable if you have an international drivers licnense already in hand! You can get rental car information from any airport you land in when coming to Japan.

October 5, 2010


Sunshine City
– Has shops, a planetarium, an aquarium, a small oriental museum, a theater and the Namja Town theme park for children.
website: http://www.sunshinecity.co.jp/ (site in Japanese)

Hours and prices for all attractions in the Sunshine City building:

Sunshine City Observation Gallery:
Hours: 10:00 am to 8:30 pm (9:30 Jul 31 to Aug 31). Last ticket sold thirty minutes before closure.
Admission: Adults: 620 yen, Under 15: 310 yen.

Namja Town: (Highly recommended by staff and past guests)
Hours: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Admission: Adults: 1,600 yen – 3,900 yen. Children: 800 yen to 3300 yen depending upon the number of rides.
Website explaining more about Namja town!

Hours: 10:00 am to 8:00pm
Admission: Adults: 1800 yen, Children: 900 yen

Hours: 10:00 am to 8:00pm

For the observation gallery, aquarium, planetarium and Namja Town, combination tickets are available, please visit the nearest tourist information booth for more information.

Take a look at this video which will give you some Idea about what to expect in Sunshine City:

click here for part2

Toyota Amlux Auto Salon – Next to Sunshine City you’ll find the futuristic car show building. The cars are spread over 6 floors making it one of the largest car showrooms in the world.
Admission: Free
11:00 am – 8:00pm Tuesdays to Sundays. (Closed Mondays except national holiday and Tuesdays if the day before was a national holiday)

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Leave a Comment October 5, 2010

Ueno and Ueno Park

Ueno is another great place to visit. But the most spectacular place in Ueno is Ueno Park. Only just a few minutes from JR Ueno station and can also be reached by the Ginza line.  Ueno Park was established through an imperial land grant to the city of Tokyo by Emperor Taisho in 1924. The official name of the park is Ueno Onshi Kōen (上野恩賜公園), which can be translated as “Ueno Imperial Gift Park.”
Ueno Park

Many people find Ueno park a beautiful place during Cherry blossom season in the spring time. There park is lined with wonderful Cherry Blossom trees. Every year hundreds of people visit this park during the spring for Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties under the blooming trees.

If you can’t make it here during the spring there are also dozens of attractions year round. On a beautiful sunny day you will find several street performers and free live music.

Places to go in and around Ueno park!

Tokyo National Museum – Includes 100,000 art objects covering Japanese history from the Jomon period to the 20th century.
Average cost: General admission ¥420, university students ¥130, high school and younger free. Special exhibitions charge separate admission fees.
Hours: Open daily 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, closed Mon.

National Museum of Western Art – Public art gallery in Japan specializing in art from the Western tradition. The museum’s collection includes pieces from 15th century to the modern period.
Average cost: General admission ¥420, Free admission on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month.
Hours: Open daily 9:30-17:00

The National Science Museum
– There are sections covering technology, the physical sciences, and hands-on exhibits for children.
Average cost:

Pagoda Kan’eiji Temple Ueno Zoo – The pagoda is presently in the Ueno Zoo, but formerly was part of the Kan’eiji, the temple of the Tokugawa shoguns of Japan, in the Ueno neighborhood of Tokyo.
Average cost: Adults (16-64) ¥600, Seniors (65+) ¥300, Students (13-15) ¥200, Children (0-12) Free
Hours: 9:30am. to 5:00pm (tickets sold until 4:00pm) and closes every Monday (closes Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday).

Toshogu Shrine – Toshogu Shrine was built in 1617 is considered to be valuable for its historical architecture, Grand Oishi Torii Gate and bronze garden lanterns. It is open every day of the year.
Average cost: ¥1300 (admission to all parts of the shrine)
¥1000 (combination ticket that also covers Rinnoji, Taiyuinbyo and Futarasan Shrine, but does not include admission to Toshogu’s nemuri neko carving and Ieyasu’s tomb. An additional ¥520 is required to see that part of the shrine.)
Hours: 8:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 from November through March) Admission closes 30 minutes before closing time.

Bentendo Hall Temple – Bentendo Hall Temple is a Benzaiten Temple on an island in the the middle of Shinobazu Pond, which forms part of Ueno Park.
Average cost: n/a
Hours: Till park closing.

Leave a Comment October 4, 2010

Looking for the best Ramen in Japan?

Kudan Ikaruga 九段 斑鳩

Kudan Ikaruga – 1-9-12 Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

From Kudanshita station, walk north from the big intersection for a couple stop lights and turn right. It’s on the right side.

This shop is said to be ranked in the top 10 ramen shops in Japan. It is highly recommended by our staff here and it’s only minutes away by train from Asakusa.

Take the Toei Asakusa Line to Nihombashi Station switch to the Tōzai Line to get to Kudanshita station. Travel time 18 minutes.

Average cost by train: 260yen

Average cost for Ramen: 680 – 900yen

English speaking staff: No (orders taken by ticket machine)

For more information please visit: http://ramen-otaku.blogspot.com/2009/01/kudan-ikaruga.html


Menya Kissou Ramen!!

Another great Ramen shop in Tokyo. Also rated in the top 10 best ramen shops in Japan.

Menya Kissou
(Koto, Tokyo, Japan)麺屋 吉左右(めんや きっそう)
Tel: 03-3699-5929

(According to Tabelog, they are closed on Sundays, and the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month.)

Average cost by train: n/a

Average cost for Ramen: 680 – 900yen

English speaking staff: No (You will need at least basic Japanese to order or a Japanese friend)


Please be respectful of the rules in place at these shops as we would like to keep good impressions about visitors in Japan. Be aware that some shops do not allow photos and loud speaking while inside or outside. Please respect these rules and enjoy your Ramen adventures here in Tokyo!

For a list of more ramen shops please visit here
Marky Star’s Top 5 Ramen Shops in Tokyo

October 1, 2010

JAPAN MUSIC WEEK! (NOV 8-14, 2010)

Japan Music Week (JMW) is Tokyo’s biggest grassroots style annual international music showcase festival and convention, covering all kinds of music genres, industry sectors and regions. Last year JMW involved over 300 artists from 20 countries at 40 venues, with over 10,000 attendees.


October 1, 2010

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Asakusa Smile
2-20-10 Higashi Komagata
Sumida-ku, Tokyo-to, Japan
Zip Code : 130-0005


+81 3 6658 8805 (International Calls)
03 6658 8805 (Local Calls)

Email: questions@asakusasmile.com


Twitter: AsakusaSmileBar

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