Sensoji Temple is one of the largest temples located in Asakusa district, Taito, Tokyo, Japan. Also, it is one of Japan’s oldest Buddhist temple which is associated with Tendai sect of Buddhism. Sensoji is also known as Asakusa Kannon temple.
Sensoji Temple is dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu and is one of the most visited temples with over 30 million annual visitors every year. Adjacent to the temple is the Asakusa Shinto shrine, five-storey pagoda and many shops which sell traditional goods. The temple is known to have kept the old world charm where the roof is made up of titanium which is strong and sturdy.
Legend has it that a statue of Kannon was found in the nearby Sumida River by two fishermen in the year 628 and even though the statue was put back into the river the statue was to appear back and hence they dedicated that place to build the temple nearby to the river and dedicate the same to the goddess of Kannon. Subsequently the brothers and chief of the village build the temple of Kannon by remodelling their house and made this a place of worship. The temple was completed in the year 645 which makes this one of the oldest temples in Tokyo. The temple was destroyed during Tokyo Air Raids on the event of WWII, subsequently, the temple rebuilt later as it is a symbol of peace to the people of Japan.
The first gate that you enter to the temple is called Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) which is the outer gate of Sensoji Temple. From the outer gate to the second gate you would pass through a shopping district called Nakamise which is over 200m in distance. This is one of historic shopping district where you can notice the shopkeepers selling traditional Japanese arts and crafts.
After the second gate, you enter the temple main hall and 5-storey pagoda. Also, you can visit the Asakusa Shrine, built in the year 1649 by Tokugawa Iemitsu.
Sensoji holds one of Tokyo’s largest festival called Sanja Matsuri which is typically held over the course of 3-4 days in late spring. During this time the traffic is closed and you can witness many Japanese and foreign tourists visit here. Catering to this large crowd, you can notice many shops which sell food, souvenirs and many other articles.
Sensoji Temple is a few steps from Asakusa Station, served by the Ginza Subway Line, Asakusa Subway Line and Tobu Railways and the entrance is free. The main hall is open from 06:00 – 17:00 however the temple hall is always open.