The Best Souvenirs and Food at Nakamise Dori

by Christian Monson

Woodblock Prints

Woodblock printing is an ancient East Asian artform that involves printing text or pictures on a block of wood which can then be used to transfer the designs to cloth or paper. The elaborate artform developed in Japan into what is known as ukiyo-e. You may be familiar with the piece Under the Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai, which features a large wave crashing down on a boat. This is one of these ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

Nakamise Dori has many establishments offering affordable woodblock prints, including Sakai Kokodo, one of the oldest stores specializing in this artform. It was opened in 1870. You can buy a woodblock print that will match nicely with the rest of the art and decorations in your home, especially if you already have an Eastern motif going on.

As a bonus, for those who really like woodblock prints, you can buy the supplies to do it yourself at a few shops along Nakamise Dori. If you don’t know how, don’t worry. A woodblock printing class is one of the best things to do in Asakusa and easy to find.

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