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Asakusa Tokyo, Sensoji Temple and Nakamise

Want to visit the most historic temple in Tokyo? Asakusa Tokyo 浅草 Sensoji Temple and Nakamise


Today we are exploring the famous Asakusa area in Tokyo. This is the famous Nakamise shopping street that spans about 250 meters from Kaminarimon to the main grounds of Sensoji Temple. It is lined with more than 50 shops selling local specialities and are a great place for buying gifts for loved ones. After going through Nakamise-dori Street of Senso-ji Temple, you'll find the Hozomon Gate in front of the main hall. The original gateway was built in 942, but it was damaged by fire. It was later rebuilt in 1964. It's worthwhile seeing the gate that holds Nio statues on either side and has a huge lantern in the middle. It used to be named Niomon because of 2 Buddhist statues of Nio acting as guardians. However, during the restoration work, a storage room to store the treasures of the Senso-ji Temple was built in the house gate. So now it's called Hozomon, the treasure house gate. Giant waraji sandals dedicated in the 1940s are hung on the other side of the gate. The 4.5 meters long and 1.5 meter wide waraji sandals weigh 500 kg each and are built to fend off evil. And now we have arrived at Sensoji Temple's main hall. In the Main Hall, there are two timeless classics of calligraphy by Noguchi Sekko, one of the three greatest calligraphers of the Edo era in the 1800s. Five-storey Pagoda of Sensoji Temple: What is a pagoda you might say? A pagoda is a Hindu or Buddhist temple, typically in the form of a many-tiered tower.

The five-story pagoda of Sensoji is a very popular sightseeing place for visitors from abroad. This five-story pagoda is one of the most prominent in Japan. Its height is 53 meters, which is about the height of an 18-storey building. It is said that the original pagoda was built in 942. This is a restoration as the original was destroyed in an air raid. In the Edo period, along with the pagodas of Kaneiji, Ikegami Honmonji and Shiba Zojoji, it was one of the "Four Edo Pagodas".

History: Asakusa is a district in Taitō, Tokyo, Japan, known for Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple devoted to the bodhisattva of Kannon. There are many other temples in Asakusa, as well as a number of festivals, like the Sanja Matsuri. Asakusa was the Tokyo City District. When the city was turned into a metropolis in 1947, it was combined with Shitaya to create the new Taito Ward. The old Ward comprised 19 neighbourhoods in the eastern half of Taito. Alright, time for a little history... The creation of Asakusa as an entertainment district during the Edo period was partially due to the adjacent district of Kuramae. Kuramae was a district with rice shops, which was then used as compensation for the staff of the feudal government. The keepers (fudasashi) of these warehouses originally processed the rice for a nominal price, but over the years started to trade the rice for money or to sell it to local shop owners making some profit. Several fudasashi had accumulated a large amount of money and, as a result, theatres and geisha houses began to appear in neighbouring Asakusa.

Food: Asakusa has numerous restaurants and locations to try traditional Japanese cuisine. Satsuma Imo, sweet potatoes, is one of the most common treats. Chikuwa kamaboko, fried fish cookies, is another unique treat. The Suzuhiro shop sells local craft beer with traditional kamaboko beer. Asakusa is also renowned for spices such sansho. Events: The area is renowned for its annual Brazilian-style carnival. The presence of Brazil in the local community is important and the Association of Samba Schools of Asakusa is based there.

Festivals: While there are many festivals during the year in Asakusa, the most famous of them is the Sanja Matsuri, also known as the May Sanja Festival. In this festival, Mikoshi (portable shrines) and the floats are dragged across the streets while noisy yelling surrounds them, and over the three days of the festival, 1.5 million people come out to celebrate.

Address: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032

Access: From Tokyo Station, get on the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station and then jump on the Ginza Subway Line to Asakusa which is about 12 minutes.
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〒111-0032 東京都台東区浅草2丁目3−1

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