Japan’s Oldest Temple: Senso-Ji

One of the temples I was always the most excited to visit was Senso-ji. The iconic and historic red temple with the beautiful lantern at the front just screamed Japan to me! Senso-ji 浅草寺 (also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple) is a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, and is one of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples. The temple was completed in 645 making it Tokyo’s oldest temple.

When approaching the temple you will first enter through the kaminarimon (thunder gate), the outer gate of Senso-ji Temple. These gates hold the large famous red lantern which is almost 12 meters tall! There is then a long shopping street of over 200 meters called Nakamise, leading from the outer gate to the temple’s second gate, the hozomon. You can find all sorts of gifts, souvenirs and treasures along the Nakamise including kimonos and folding fans, traditional local snacks and regular gifts such as bags, magnets, t-shirts and mugs. The Nakamise has a history of many centuries.

Beyond the Hozomon Gate is the temple’s main hall and a five storied pagoda. The temple was destroyed in the war, and the current buildings are relatively recent reconstructions. Throughout the year many events are held in the Senso-ji Temple area, including Sanja Matsuri, the annual festival of the Asakusa Shrine in May.

Senso-ji was definitely one of my favourite temples in Japan. There was so much life there, with so many different kinds of people, all kinds of foods and souvenirs available and always something new and interesting to explore! It’s absolutely beautiful and definitely worth a visit.

Senso-ji Temple can be accessed by hopping off the train at Asakusa Station on the Ginza Subway Line, Asakusa Subway LIke and Tobu Railways. From Tokyo Station you can take the JR Yamanote Like to Kanda Station and then transfer to the Ginza Subway Line, or from Shinjuku Station you can take the orange JR Chuo Line to Kanda Station before transferring to the Ginza Subway Line.

Senso-ji Temple
2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito
Tokyo 111-0032, Japan

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Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started A Make Believe World to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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