Results 1-9of 9 Reviews
February 14, 2010
From journal Tokyo and Beyond, Ancient Meets Modern
by wasa girl
January 4, 2009
From journal Two Weeks in Japan
October 27, 2006
From journal So, What Else is in Tokyo Besides Disneyland?
New York, New York
April 11, 2006
August 23, 2002
One usually enters Asakusa through the distinctive Kaminarimon Gate, which was reconstructed in 1960. The bright vermilion colors of the gate welcome you into the complex. This is also called the "Thunder God Gate" because of the image in the left niche. The God of Wind is on the right niche, and people walk under the large red paper lantern in the center. This leads down Nakamise-dori, a fun pedestrian avenue with family-operated shops and stalls selling stuff like rice crackers, toys, dolls, clothes, and assorted trinkets.
The main hall of Senso-ji was originally constructed in 645, and it was reconstructed in 1958 after a great effort of fundraising. This main hall is fronted by a large vat of incense, where the worshippers all stop to perform their rituals. Nearby are structures like the Five-Storied Pagoda, the Hozomon Gate, and the Nitenmon Gate (built 1618) which survived the ravages of World War II.
Senso-ji is a Buddhist temple, but it is very close to the Asakusa Shrine, which is a Shinto shrine. This is the site of the Sanja Festival in May, one of the largest annual festivals in Tokyo. Also within the complex is the secluded Denbo-in Temple, which requires special permission in order to visit.
From journal Bill in Japan - traditional TOKYO
Mexico City, Mexico
February 15, 2002
Sensoji Temple, also known as Asakusa Kannon, is one of the oldest and most
important Buddhist temples in Tokyo. Its foundation in 628 is based on the
legend that fishermen fished a golden Bodhisattva Kannon (goddess of mercy) out
of the nearby Sumida River. The image is kept in a gold plated shrine but is
never shown to the public.
Approaching the shrine, the first gate is Kaminari-mon - the gate of thunder; the god of thunder is
on the right and the god of wind on the left. However, more picturesque to most
tourist will be the huge red paper lantern hanging in the middle of the gate. It
is one of the most famous sights in Tokyo and makes for great photos in almost
any weather. Rickshaws usually offer services from the gate - many speak
After the gate you enter Nakamise Dori - a famous shopping street leading to
the temple. (See Asakusa area
entry). Before reaching the temple you cross another huge gate with more big red lanterns - the Hozomon Gate. The lanterns here are donated by tradesmen, including the traders from Tsukiji Fish Market. The huge, several meters long straw sandals are from rural Yamagata - the idea is that if the guard of the temple has such enormous feet it is better to pass than to contemplate evil deeds!
You reach the main hall after passing a huge cauldron of smoking incense. For a cure,
wave the smoke towards areas of your body that ache. The main hall has been
rebuilt at least four times. The current temple structure dates from the 1950s
and is mainly reinforced concrete. It replaced the 1651 temple, which was
destroyed by air raids during the Second World War. During the war the image of
Kannon and several other artworks were buried and spared from destruction. The
three huge lanterns hanging from the main hall are donated by geishas from
various areas in Tokyo alluding to the important role Asakusa played in Edo
times as an entertainment area. (This role has long since moved elsewhere,
especially to Shinjuku and Ikebukero.)
After donating some coins you can pull your fortune out of cylinder with
sticks - just follow the lead of other people there. You’ll get a stick with a
letter and then take the fortune out of a drawer with the same number. There are
sometimes English instructions available or just ask - many visitors are keen to
help foreigners to find the right slip of paper. If you don’t like your
fortune you can simply nix it by tying it to a nearby tree!
The temple area is open 24 hours and admittance is free.
From journal Tokyo Highlights - the essential must sees
San Francisco, California
January 2, 2002
It's pagoda, main temple, and several smaller temples are quite popular among visitors and locals. Also spectacular are the small gardens and the long entrance way lined with shops and stalls selling food.
Visit in the morning or the evening, when the crowds are smaller and you have more opportunities for peaceful reflection.
The Taito Ryokan is in this neighborhood, so I visited Senso-ji three or four times, at differing times of the day. Each time, I got a different impression of this fascinating complex.
Don't miss the lovely series of watercolors near the entrance that tell the story of Senso-ji and the fishermen.
From journal Thanksgiving in Japan
April 26, 2001
Legend says that some time ago, two fishermen retrieved a statue of the Goddess of Kannon out of the river. As they were more interested in fish, they threw it back into the river, but it continued to find its way into their nets. Taking it for an omen, they brough the statue to the city where a temple was erected around it in honor of the Goddess.
The temple has a very impressive gate: Kaminarimon next to which there is a set of tremendously large sandals: a sign to evil spirits to stay away (apparently evil spirits should think a giant guards the temple). It is located in the Asakusa district. Nakamise street, Tokyo's largest concentration of souvenir shops, leads to the temple. During April the souvenir shops are all adorned with sakura: cherry blossoms.
The Senso-ji, together with Tokyo's other important religious landmark, Shinto's Meiji Jingu: Meiji Shrine, is included in most bus tours around the city. Just inquire at your hotel.
From journal Tokyo - City That Never Sleeps
September 10, 2000
From journal Tokyo river trip and secret garden