Do you plan to visit Asakusa and you are looking for an "out-of-the-way" spot or experience? I may have just the right story for you, read on.
I went to see a rakugo (Japanese comedy show) performance at the Asakusa Cultural Tourist Information Center, together with one of my Japanese friends. Being a local, born and raised in the Taito ward, he knows the area very well. He also knew about my hobby (photography), so he showed me the Miharashiya Cafe on the eighth floor of the Tourist Information Center. He said it was an anaba, meaning a "little-known good place" in Japanese. Not many people know of the cafe and the joined observation space.
Before jumping on to the cafe, let me introduce the premises of the Asakusa Cultural Tourist Information Center. It is located just opposite the Kaminarimon, the huge gate in Asakusa, and I highly recommend this place to all visitors since it provides great information and assistance in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. There is also free Wi-Fi internet access in the premises.
Miharashiya Cafe, I thought this would be just another coffee shop and I was not sure what to expect other than that; however, I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful view of Kaminarimon, Senso-ji (the main temple), Nakamise Street (the souvenir shopping street between the gate and the temple) and the Tokyo Skytree. A small change in the viewing angle, add some elevation and you get a completely new experience; that about sums it up. Iced coffee for 450 yen was kind of pricey (even more expensive than at Starbucks), so I went for a self-service coffee for 380 yen and a small bread snack for 280 yen, which I found a bit more reasonable. Good news is you can carry the drink along to the observation deck, albeit their are no tables outside, just chairs.
I suggest visiting the cafe at twilight time when you can see the start of the light-up of the Tokyo Skytree. Kindly note that there are no tripods allowed inside the cafe, nor on the observation deck. However, you are certainly allowed to take snaps with your camera held in your hand.
On my way back from the cafe I stopped on the seventh floor where I found a cultural-themed exhibition space. I think that's always worth to check out, too.