Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo

Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo (must see)

The Senso-ji Temple, also known as the Asakusa Kannon Temple, is the oldest and most popular among Buddhist temples in Tokyo. It is the most visited temple by tourists in Tokyo and is famous for the many colorful and vibrant festivals and events that take place all through the year.

According to legend, two fishmen brothers Hinokuma Hamanari and Hinokuma Takenari drew a golden statue of the Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, from the River Sumida. They tried putting it back into the river but it resurfaced time and again. The headman of Asakusa village heard their story and understood the significance of the event. He became a Buddhist monk and converted his home into a temple which is now the well known Senso-ji Temple. The first temple was founded in 645 AD, which makes it the oldest temple in Tokyo.

During the Edo period (1603-1868), the Tokugawa Shoguns were devotees of the temple and expanded the structure and gave it the reverential importance it enjoys today. It was burned down in the World War II bombings and was rebuilt by worshippers. The golden statue of Kannon is still housed within the temple but is never shown to the public.

Over 30 million visitors and pilgrims visit the temple annually and it is the venue for important festivals. The Sanja Matsuri, the largest festival of the Asakusa Shrine is celebrated every year in May and the Asakusa Samba Carnival takes place annually in August.

Why You Should Visit:
The Senso-ji Temple is the oldest and most important Buddhist temple in Tokyo, a must-see if you want to learn the history of Tokyo.

Tip:
There are tons of photo opportunities around the shrine grounds especially during festivals and other events. Walk down the side streets and you'll find many food stalls and restaurants with far fewer people. At sundown, the crowds are thinner and more importantly, the main temple buildings are beautifully lit!

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Tokyo. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Senso-ji Temple on Map

Sight Name: Senso-ji Temple
Sight Location: Tokyo, Japan (See walking tours in Tokyo)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Tokyo, Japan

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