Asakusa Kannon Temple, which is also known as “Sensoji” is a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo. Sensoji was built in 645 A.D with the finest Japanese architecture. Asakusa is a famous district in Tokyo, Japan located in the center of Shitmachi which literally means “low town” or “low city”. Asakusa is very well known for various temples in which Asakusa Kannon Temple is the most famous and also the oldest temple of Tokyo.
According to the legends of Asakusa, two brothers fished the statue of Kannon (goddess of mercy) from the river Sumida. They tried to put the statue back into the river but fortunately the statue always returned to them. So they planned to build a temple which started in 628 A.D and finished its construction in 645 A.D.
The travelers initially enter through the “Kaminarimon” (thunder gate) which is the outer gate of “Asakusa Kannon Temple “or “Sensoji” and also the symbol of Asakusa. Then after the way leads to a shopping street of about 200 meters called Nakamise, giving a way to the second gate called “Hozomon”. The shopping street consists of various traditional garments popularly known as “Yukata”, local snacks, folding fans etc, which are said to be very unique and high in business. Beyond the second gate, “Hozomon” stands at the Sensoji temple main building with five stories tower with multiple eaves which is the most attractive part of the building.
With so many temples in the area, each temple hosts at least one festival per year. The biggest and the most popular festival is “Sanja Matsuri”, which is celebrated in the month of May. During the festival, the streets of Asakusa district come alive with number of dancing girls with different costumes along with traditional Japanese sounds. Various festivals and events are held throughout the year in the area of Sensoji temple. Some of the other festivals are”Hozuki-ichi”, “Asakusa Samba festival”, “Tokyo Jidai Matsuri” and “Hagoita-ichi” held in the months of July, August, November and December respectively. A small carnival complex was constructed next to the Sensoji temple grounds which have the stalls of rides, booths and games. Since many of the tourist were from Japan, a theater was constructed which specializes in showing classic Japanese films.
Asakusa Kannon temple is very near to the Asakusa railway station which is highly served by many sublines. The easiest way to reach Asakusa is to take JR Yamanote line from Tokyo station to Kanda station which is approximately two min of journey and then transfer to the Ginza subway line for Asakusa which is approximately ten minutes of journey.
The climatic conditions of Japan are very favorable to the tourists all the way. During the months of November, December, January, February, March is about 10°C (50°F) and the rest of the months are about 28°C (82°F). Most of the travelers visit Asakusa Kannon Temple during May which held the biggest festival. One should definitely visit the mighty Sensoji at least once in a lifetime as Asakusa Kannon Temple is the most ancient temple of Japan.
For for information, visit: Sensoji Official Site