Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tokyo's Oldest temple, Sensoji Temple

If you have a chance to travel in Tokyo, you must visit Sensoji Temple in old town Asakusa. This temple is the oldest in Tokyo and about 30 million people visit here every year.

Kaminari (thunder) -mon gate is the most famous symbol in Asakusa, a statue of thunder deity and wind deity are sit in the both sides of the gate. Even though the gate was burnt by fire before, the gate was reconstructed by Konosuke Matsushita in 1960, who is the founder of Panasonic. The gate is always full of people.

There are 2 gates in Sensoji Temple, and also 2 red lanterns. Please do not forget to check the back side of the lantern, you can see the beautiful sculpture.

Nakamisedori Shopping Street leads you to the temple.  The street is 250 meter long, and about 90 shops are on the both sides. You can buy various kinds of souvenirs such as Japanese fans and swards and Japanese fast foods.

The origin of this temple is that two brother fishermen found a a statue of Bodhisattva Kannon (Buddhist goddess of mercy) from Sumida river, which flows on the east side of the temple in the year 628. Since then, the statue has been worshiped and enshrined. Currently, the statue is hidden and public people cannot see it. 

Before you enter inside the temple, rinse your mouth and wash your hands with fresh water at the purification fountain. Then, go to the incense burner and put the smoke on the part which you want to cure of your body. Legend said it that the smoke can cure the bad part of your body.

The main hall is about 30 meter high. The golden decoration, and red and white architecture are awesome!

Inside of the main hall... you can see 3 characters in a frame, SEMUI - means which Bodhisattva Kannon (goddess of mercy) gives one a fearless mind and can relieve this world.  

Five-storied Pagoda is on the left side of the main hall. Relics of the Buddha (busshari) are kept on the top floor. Originally it was built in 942, but it was burnt by air raids during World War II and reconstructed in 1973.

There are various buildings in the back side of the temple precincts, and beautiful nature such as flowers, trees, rivers. The precincts also has Sensoji Shrine, so this site is syncretization of Shinto with Buddhism. Please feel Japanese old atmosphere and find your favorite spot. 

Sensoji Temple
Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Tato-ku Tokyo
TEL: 03-3842-0181
The halls are open from 6:30 am to 17:00 pm
Admission free

Nakamise Shopping Street

Experience Japan!

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