Sensoji Temple

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2-3-1, Tokyo, Japan

Sensoji Temple Tokyo Reviews

andrejav andrejav
652 reviews
Sensoji Temple complex Feb 09, 2013
Sensoji was the first place that I have seen in Tokyo. That night I arrived to Tokyo, made my way to the hostel, dropped my bags and went walking after 14h long trip. Armed with an small copy of the map, I lost my way and found myself in the front of the large gate. In my experience gates are in the front of something interesting :) so I went down the rows and rows of closed shops and ended up in the front of beautiful old temple. Sensoji is an complex of shrines, pagoda, temples and other smaller and larger eye candies.

During the day market in the front of the temple is full of interesting stalls that sell everything from tourist goodies, finger food, to art items. I recommend one stall close to the temple that makes patisseries filled with chocolate. It is made in the front of you and has heavenly taste.

Temple is interesting and big, lots of things to take pictures off...
MArket at night
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Sept922 Sept922
12 reviews
Sensoji....An early morning relaxation. Jun 18, 2011
Sensoji has been written about all over the web. Also called Asakusa Kannon Temple it was completed in the year 645 as a tribute to the goddess Kannon. It is the oldest in Tokyo. (Asakusa is pronounced Ahh(like opening your The U is almost unpronounced and the a is always like the a in Mama. All A's are pronounced that way in Japanese always. Almost like A-sak-sa. Kannon is Ka-n-n-o-n. The N's are like saying n twice and the o is like in open. The O's are always this sound.)

Sensoji is located in Asakusa..and old part of Tokyo to the east. It is just outside the Yamanote(Ya-ma-no-te (e like egg)loop train line that goes around central Tokyo. (This is the most important Japan Railways (JR)line for tourists.) It is a 15-20 minute walk from Ueno station and also accessible by the Asakusa line that travels from north east to south east Tokyo kind of, or the Ginza line and the Tobu line. The famous symbol on all the post cards is the outer gate on Kaminarimon Dori. (Dori is street)The gate is called "Kaminarimon" or Thunder Gate. Learn to say the word and everyone can help you find it if you get lost.(Ka-mee-na-ree-mo-n with your tongue up to the roof of your mouth for Japanese r's).

I used to live a short walk from here so seeing the gate early in the morning on a weekday with no tourists is amazing. A few locals always come by for morning prayer and it is so peaceful you can feel the spirits of years gone by.

It is big and red and you would be blind to miss it. Outside of here later in the morning the local rickshaw (or jinrikisha (jeen reek sha))drivers will offer to take you on a tour around the Shitamachi or "low town" area.

After passing through the gate there is a narrow street of shops called Nakamise (Na-ka-mee-s-e the last e sound like in egg.)On this street are lots of shops selling little Japanese souvenirs (Omiyage) and many kinds of treats. Many kinds of sweets and traditional snacks and plenty of tea! Ice cream of different flavors (like green tea) is popular!

Nakamise is about 200 meters long leading to Asakusa Park.

Following the shopping street is a courtyard in front of the next big gate the Hozomon gate. Through this gate is the inner complex that includes a nice 5 story Pagoda as well as the main hall of prayer and devotion. Sensoji is Buddhist and Buddhist places of worship are temples or "O-tera". There is a small Shinto shrine (Asakusa Jinja)to the east of the main hall. A Shinto shrine is a 'Jinja".

The entire complex is very important to Japanese people and you will feel that when you are there. By 9 am tourists are filling up Nakamise Dori and children are laughing and couples are strolling. There are ometimes Japanese teenage school kids looking to give you a free tour to practice their English for school. This is always a neat way to get questions answered about the food and even the youth "culture" that makes Tokyo so interesting and vibrant. Their clothes and music and sounds will be an everyday part of Tokyo life.(See Harajuku/Shibuya). Just hang around the front gate and look lost for 10 minutes on a weekend and they will find you! When I bring guests I just set them free and get out of the way! Haha! Have someone take you to an "Omikuji" stall to have your fortune read and hope for good luck!
Kaminarimon. The Thunder gate.
Nakamise Dori. Pre-opening.
Nakamise shops starting to open.
The 5 Story Pagoda. (Asakusa Senso…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
CaseyVan says:
Appreciate the review!
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012
sylviandavid says:
Thanks for this review
Posted on: Aug 14, 2011
Andy99 Andy99
579 reviews
This popular and historic Senso-ji. Mar 21, 2005
Senso-ji is said to be the most popular Buddhist temple in Tokyo and is always bustling with worshipers and visitors alike. There has been a temple on the site since 645 when Asakusa was a small fishing village. The temple is dedicated to the Bodhisattva Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. (The temple is also known as Asakusa Kannon.) It was favored by the Shogunate and has always enjoyed widespread popularity.

Senso-ji was heavily damaged during World War II and the principal structures seen today are post-war reconstructions. However, the temple grounds and structures are quite wonderful (albeit crowded).

The main entrance is the Kaminarimon gate. This gateway opens to a pedestrian pathway leading to the Hozomon, the inner gate. The path, known as Nakamise-dori, is lined with small shops. It's been a shopping street and gathering place for centuries. The shops sell religious artifacts, prayer cards, and emblems as well as post cards and souvenirs. Past the Hozomon is the inner courtyard and the Main Hall. An impressive five-story Pagoda rises next to the Main Hall. Gardens add a touch of tranquility in the midst of the bustling grounds.

Admission is free.

Please see my Tokyo blog entry for additional photos of Senso-ji.
Hozomon and courtyard at Senso-ji
Bustling Senso-ji grounds
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
CaseyVan says:
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012
sylviandavid says:
really complete review.... Thanks so much for sharing your perspective...
Posted on: Aug 14, 2011
Airportman Airportm…
230 reviews
Buddhist temple which can get very crowded Jul 13, 2000
I have visited this temple 2 times. First time during my trip in 2000 and the second time was back in 2007 when there was a festival going on in Asakusa.

Legend has it that a statue Kannon (a bodhisattva) was found by 2 men in the year of 627 and that the first temple was build 18 years later, in 645. The Asakusa Shrine, honoring the 3 men who found the Sensoji Temple. The temple was mostly destroyed during the 2nd World War, so what I say back then was rebuild after the end of the war.

The first time we got there, was in july 2000. But despite the warm & sunny weather, the place was not crowded. We walked on the main path between the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) and on each side, there were rows of small shops who sell all kinds of items and souvenirs. We also walked towards the Asakusa Shrine.

During the 2nd time I was there, we were witness of the Sanja Festival. We had the same weather and it meant the streets were packed by a large crowd. The temple itself seemed like it was swarmed by people going in & out of the place, like a beehive.

It depends on the weather and the time of the day, but despite the place can get crowded, a visit to this temple is recommended and it won't cost you anything. Apart from the souvenir or food/drinks you may buy there.
Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate - 2000)
Pagoda at the Sensoji Temple (2000)
Main Hall at the Sensoji Temple (2…
Inside the temple (2000)
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sylviandavid says:
sounds like a wonderful place to visit
Posted on: Aug 14, 2011

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