Asakusa is one of the top destinations in the Tokyo metropolis, millions of tourists coming to see the historic Sensō-ji Temple complex, from which quaint shopping streets stretch on for blocks, with many shops, restaurants, and temples boasting the “oldest of its kind” status. Asakusa’s former Sixth District is a good example of this, as it was once at the forefront of cultural modernization, being the site of Japan’s oldest movie theatre, skyscraper, and amusement park.
The Asakusa Public Hall stands at the end of Orange Street, which runs between the temple complex and the Sixth District. It has hosted traditional kabuki stages, comedy shows, and classical concerts since 1977, so it may not come as a surprise that it is also home to a Japanese version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame called the Stars Plaza.
Created in 1979, the Stars Plaza exhibits the handprints and autographs of celebrities associated with Asakusa, from actors to singers, rakugo performers to TV personalities, the number of which grows every year as the celebrities are honored at the Asakusa Performing Arts Awards held every March.
The first ones to be awarded the honor included Toshiro Mifune, Hibari Misora, and Kiyoshi Atsumi. The Stars Plaza later went on to include more internationally recognizable figures like Tatsuya Nakadai, Takeshi Kitano, Machiko Kyo, and Nagaharu Yodogawa. Out of them, Mifune remains the only one to have his own star in Hollywood as well as his handprint in Asakusa.