Japan Tokyo Asakusa

Sensoji Temple

Founded 645 AD, Tokyo’s oldest temple and an ancient hub of spirituality and tradition.

Photo of Sensoji Temple, Japan (Sensoji Temple by Ajay Suresh)

Sensoji Temple, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, stands as a historic symbol of Tokyo’s cultural heritage. With its legendary origins dating back to 628, it is recognized as one of Tokyo’s oldest temples and is the most widely visited religious site in the world with over 30 million visitors annually. The temple’s legend holds that two brothers found a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, in the Sumida River, prompting the temple’s establishment.

About Sensoji Temple

Sensoji Temple’s complex is a harmonious blend of history and architecture, featuring the main hall (Hondo), the majestic five-story pagoda, and the Nakamisedori Shopping Street. The main hall is a place of veneration, enshrining valued Buddhist statues and relics. Adjacent is Nakamisedori Shopping Street, offering a variety of traditional Japanese snacks and goods. The Kaminarimon Thunder Gate, with its large red lantern, and the Hozomon Treasure House Gate, serve as historical gateways that transport visitors to an earlier time.

The temple’s history is marked by its destruction during World War II and subsequent reconstruction, demonstrating the community’s dedication to preserving the site. The modern titanium tiled roof enhances the structure’s durability while maintaining its traditional appearance. Sensoji is a focal point of cultural activities, notably during the Sanja Matsuri, Tokyo’s grand festival in May, when the temple’s ambiance is transformative with parades and celebrations.

Sensoji offers visitors a chance to engage in Japanese spiritual practices, such as purifying with smoke from the giant incense burner or seeking insight from the Omikuji stand. The temple’s garden is an example of classic Japanese landscape design. Within the Hondo, one can view the ceiling mural by painter Kawabata Ryushi and recognize the importance of historical figures such as Ennin and the Tokugawa shoguns.

While Sensoji’s primary role is spiritual, it also contributes to the community with initiatives such as a hospital and social welfare programs. As guests explore Nakamise-dori, they can consider the temple’s place in the historical Bandō and Edo pilgrimage routes. The vicinity of the temple features tributes to Japanese cultural figures.

Sensoji Temple stands as a testament to Japan’s religious and cultural legacy, inviting visitors to discover its storied background, partake in current traditions, and experience the enduring spirit of Asakusa.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Sensoji Temple

A 18

 Asakusa Line + 2 more

 about 5 minute walk (400m)

Around Sensoji Temple

Sensoji Temple

Buddhist Temple in Tokyo

open 6am - 5pm
closed Irregularly


浅草寺, 東京

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Updated 14 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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