Being one of Tokyo’s oldest neighbourhoods, it’s almost no question what things to do in Asakusa: the Sensoji Temple (also known as The Asakusa Kannon temple) grounds is one the main highlight of the area and just such a great place to explore!
According to legend, in the year 628 two brothers fished a statue of Kannon (goddess of mercy) out of the Sumida River. Even though they threw it back into the river, it kept returning to them somehow. They build Sensoji temple for this goddess. It was completed in 645 and now it’s Tokyo’s oldest temple.
In the 6 times I’ve visited Japan now, I always go here, so you can understand I’ve got plenty of pictures by now. Time to share the best with you today.
Photo Impression of the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo
Before entering the temple complex, you enter through the Kaminarimon (‘kaminari’ = thunder ‘mon’ = gate), leading to the Nakamise shopping street
Then you enter through the second (inner) gate: Hōzōmon
Buddha’s Flip Flop?
One of my favourite buildings, the 5-storied pagoda
Before entering the main temple, there are lots of little ceremonies to take part in. From writing wishes on paper and tying it to a tree or fence, to lighting up incense and a whole cleaning ritual at the dragon fountain… it’s incredible to watch when you have no clue what’s going on :)
Still strange seeing this symbol. Such a deep, deep shame a beautiful symbol has a negative connotation these days by the misuse of people in the recent past…
You can find these wooden tiles at many temples in Japan, you pay a bit for them and can then write a wish or message on it. They are beautiful to see and read
Entering Senso Ji under the big red lantern
Sun or Rain, it will be busy at the temple grounds :)
After shaking a box with wooden sticks, you can read a number from the stick and then find the matching wooden drawer, which hides a fortune message for you (some of them in the main temple building also include English messages, there will be a sign saying that, so fun to try!)
After admiring the temples, don’t forget the garden around them are amazing as well
You will see red clothing on certain statues around many temples, read more about the meaning of it on this insightful website
Another important shrine on the senso ji temple grounds is the ‘Asakusa Jinja’, or the Asakusa Shrine / Asakusa Temple. It is the shrine of the three gods and one of the most famous Shinto shrines in Tokyo. It honours the three men who founded the Sensō-ji.
Senso-Ji as seen from our hostel
If you don’t like the crowds, the temple is also amazing to admire at night (of course then you can’t go inside)
I hope you enjoyed this photo essay of one of my favourite places in Tokyo Asakusa, the Senso ji temple! Have you visited yet? What was your most favourite part of the Asakusa shrine area?
This post is also available in: Dutch