Asakusa Senso Temple
Senso Temple is located in Asakusa which is about 20 minutes from Tokyo station by subway. The temple is the most popular site in Tokyo for both Japanese and foreign tourists. Open: 6am to 5pm every day of the year Admission: Free
The tiny, hidden Bodhisattva Kannon statue is housed inside the sanctum at the extreme rear of the Main Hall. Unfortunately, it cannot be viewed by the public. It is said that two fisherman found the five centimeter statue in their fishing net when they were fishing in a nearby river during the early part of the seventh century and they enshrined it in this temple.
The gate is a symbol of the temple and is the most famous landmark in Asakusa. Hanging from the gate is a huge red lantern on which the Chinese character for “thunder” is written. There are two wooden statues, Hujin and Raijin, standing on each side of the gate. Hujin is the god of wind while Raijin is the god of thunder. The original gate was erected early in the 10th century but burned down several times. The present one was built about 50 years ago and donated by Japanese entrepreneur Konosuke Matsushita who is the founder of Panasonic.
Nakamise is one of the oldest shopping streets in Japan and stretches approximately 250 meters from Kaminarimon Gate to the Main Hall. Around 100 shops align the street. Early in the Edo period (about 400 years ago) many tea houses and shops began opening and the street became very busy over time. Today, you can find all kinds of traditional Japanese souvenirs such as yukatas, folding fans, and beautiful Kokeshi dolls. In addition, there are many traditional sweet shops.
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