Senso-Ji Temple is perhaps the most revered of all Buddhist shrines in Tokyo. Also referred to as Asakusa Kannon, this shrine is located within an astounding and expansive temple complex in Asakusa – a prime region of Tokyo’s downtown.
Highlights and Features of Senso-Ji Temple
As you reach the temple, you’ll be welcomed by the Kaminari-mon, literally meaning ‘thunder gate’ that dominates the temple’s entrance. This striking gate has an enormous paper lantern that is enhanced with brilliant red and black tones, which in turn represent lighting as well as thunder clouds. From Kaminari-mon, Nakamise-dori that stretch about 200 meters and lined with numerous stalls selling amazing souvenirs will lead you to the temple’s second gate – Hozomon, literally meaning ‘treasure house gate.’
However, it was destroyed by fire and later reconstructed in 1973. There are also many things that are worth seeing within the temple, such as the Main Hall – a national treasure erected by Tokugawa Iemitsu – the third Edo shogun; Yakushido Hall – an elegant structure that dates back to the 17th century; Nitenmon Gate that has been declared a significant Cultural Property by the Japanese government;
Good to Know
Adjacent to the temple is Asakusa Shrine that is dedicated to three men: Hinokuma Hamanari, Hinokuma Takenari and Haji no Nakatomo, who are regarded as the founders of Senso-Ji temple. Earlier a segment of Senso-Ji temple, Asakusa shrine was separated from the main temple during the Meiji period. The shrine is also lauded for its outstanding, contemplative garden that has been meticulously maintained in Japanese style.