Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon Temple) is a Buddhist temple completed in 645, making it Tokyo’s oldest temple. However, the current building (1950s) is a ferro-concrete replica of an earlier building from 1692, which was destroyed during the 2nd World War.
Legend says that in the year 628, two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, out of the Sumida River, and even though they put the statue back into the river, it always returned to them. This temple was built to honour her. The statue of Kannon is believed to be housed in a box in the inner sanctum of the large main hall, but the public have never been allowed to see it!
Adjacent to the temple is a Shinto shrine, the Asakusa Jinja, built in the year 1649 by Tokugawa Iemitsu.
It is best to approach Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon Temple) from the outer gate Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) (1955). From here, you move along a street called Naka-mise, which has stalls selling souvenirs and various traditional local snacks. This street leads to the temple’s second gate, the Hozomon (Treasure Gate) (1964), from which you enter Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon Temple).
Times and Prices
Hours: 06:00 – 17:00 (Temple grounds 24hrs)
A couple of minutes walk from Asakusa Station.
How to Get There