Sensoji Temple

Attractions, Religious buildings and sites Asakusa
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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With over 30 million visitors a year, Senso-ji holds a special place in local hearts. Otherwise known as Asakusa Kannon, Senso-ji is metropolitan Tokyo’s oldest temple and dedicated to Kannon, the bodhisattva of compassion. The principal statue of Kannon enshrined in the temple is said to have been saving worshippers ever since first appearing 1400 years ago when – as legend has it – fishermen discovered it in the Sumida river. Apart from the Nitenmon gate and the Denboin residence, most of the temple was destroyed during Allied bombing raids in 1945, with the main temple building and five-storied pagoda rebuilt after the war. In a local example of corporate philanthropy, the main Kaminarimon Gate – famous for its giant red lantern – was actually restored in 1960 through a donation from Konosuke Matsushita (Panasonic’s founder). If you fancy a snack heading to or from the temple, shops lining the ‘Nakamise’ approach sell popular local specialities. Crispy rice senbei ‘Kaminari okoshi,’ age-manju (deep fried cakes with a red-bean filling) and ningyo-yaki (cakes moulded into special shapes, also commonly filled with red-bean) may abate your hunger, but it’s also possible to part with your hard-earned yen on the many traditional trinkets and souvenirs on offer.

Posted:

Venue name: Sensoji Temple
Contact:
Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku
Tokyo

Transport: Asakusa Station (Tobu Skytree, Ginza, Asakusa lines)
Static map showing venue location
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Tastemaker

Senso-ji is a beautiful and historic temple complex in the Asakusa District. 


During the day it's a bustling hub, brilliant for people watching. On arrival you'll enter through the Kaminarimon Gate (currently under scaffolding, but still impressive) and make your way to the temple via a long line of stalls selling everything from bean buns to umbrellas. 


On arrival at the temple, you can make an offering and pay your respects - and even get a fortune (English translation included) for just 100 yen. It's an impressive and beautiful temple, well worth a visit. 


At night, however, it truly comes into its own. The crowds abate, the shops close and the lights are switched on. It's a haven of peace, tranquility and beauty - an experience that evokes feelings of a Tokyo in days gone by. If you can, visit  first during the day, but then return after sunset.