Sensoji Temple (Tokyo)
Sensoji Temple In Asakusa (Tokyo)
Nakamisedori At Sensoji Temple In Asakusa
Giant Red Chochin (Paper Lantern) At Kaminari-mon (Gate)
Nio Guardian At Kaminari-mon (Gate)
Five Story Pagoda At Sensoji Temple In Asakusa
Facts & Figures
The Sensoji Temple, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, is the oldest and most frequently visited temple in Tokyo. It is a Buddhist Temple that can be found in Asakusa. It is one of the most colorful and most significant temples to Tokyo’s history. Since Tokyo does not have many landmarks that it can be associated with (like the way people associate New York with the Statue of Liberty), many visitors relate Tokyo automatically with the Sensoji Temple. The temple is only a short 15min train ride from Tokyo Station and only 5min away from Akihabara. In a city that has no shortage of temples and sacred gardens, Sensoji is the oldest, boasting of almost two millenniums of history. In addition to the rich religious and cultural history that the Sensoji Temple enjoys, the temple is also located close to Tokyo’s largest market for souvenirs and the Kaminarimon Gate that is well known for its huge famous red chochin lantern. When you pass through the gate, visitors are encouraged to take a peek under the lantern to find a hidden dragon on the base. The dragon represents Kinryuzan or Golden Dragon Mountain who protects the entrance from attacks against enemies.
- Main Hall
- Opening Hours - 6:00 am to 5:00 pm (from April till end of September)
- Opening Hours - 6:30 am to 5:00 pm (from October till end of March)
- Closed - never, always open
- Admission Fee - free
The Sensoji Temple was built near the Sumida River for the goddess of Kannon (bodhisattva Kannon). Legend has it that in 628, two brothers fished out a statue of the goddess of mercy or Kannon from the Sumida River. No matter how many times the two brothers would try to put the goddess statue back into the water, it would return to them, which is why they decided to build a Temple to honor Kannon upon receiving advice from the local priest. Construction of the temple was completed in 645, which makes the Sensoji Temple the oldest of all Japanese temples. The Edo culture led to the rapid development of Sensoji Temple. The traces of Edo culture can still be felt by the locals that reside nearby the temple. The news of the temple construction quickly spread to other regions of Japan, which caused pilgrims to start flocking in for spiritual guidance. During World War 2 air raids the temple was completely destroyed and later rebuilt. This place is now the symbol of peace and rebirth to the Japanese people.
Sensoji Temple can be found in Asakusa, an area located within the north-east part of central Tokyo.
Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
How to get to Sensoji Temple / Asakusa?
- Asakusa is connected by Asakusa and Ginza Subway L., Tsukuba Express, Tobu Rail.
- 10min from Ueno Station to Asakusa by Ginza Subway Line or
- 10 min from Shinjuku Station to Kanda Station by JR Chuo Line and
- 10min from Kanda Station to Asakusa by Ginza Subway Line or
- 10 min from Tokyo Station to Kanda Station by JR Yamanote Line and
- 10min from Kanda Station to Asakusa by Ginza Subway Line
Sightseeing spots at the temple ground
Nakamisedori - The 200m long shopping street has an impressive history. Enjoy the atmosphere there and try out as much Japanese snacks as you can:)
Kaminari-mon or Thunder Gate - You will find there the most famous big red paper lantern (Chochin) in Japan.
Main Hall (Hondo) and 5-storey pagoda - The illumination of the 2 buildings at night is really beautiful and my must-see recommendation for you.
Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)
Sanja Festival - Three Shrine Festival (every third Sunday of May)
It is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo (Sanja Festival, Kanda Matsuri, Sanno Matsuri at Hie Shrine). The festival last for 3 days and attracts more than 2 Mio visitors. It features a parade with decorated floats and thousands of people.
Asakusa Samba Carnival (25th)
The Asakusa Samba Carnival is one of the biggest summer festivals in Tokyo. 18 teams competing for the title. The show starts at 1pm and ends at 6pm. Enjoy colorful costumes, samba floats and drummers.
Hagoita Ichi Fair (17th till 19th)
Every year in December the Hagoita-ichi (Hagoita Market) at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa is a magnet for thousands of visitors. Hagoita are artistic and brightly colored wooden paddle, which are used to play the traditional Japanese New Year's game called Hanetsuki. Hagoita are popular good luck charms and gifts.