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Asakusa Shrine

One of the few buildings in Asakusa to survive wartime bombing, today this 17th-century shrine is the site of one of Tokyo’s most important festivals.

Asakusa Shrine’s location, just behind the Buddhist temple, Sensō-ji, allows an insightful comparison between Japan’s two major religions of Shinto and Buddhism. Visit this historic shrine in May for one of Tokyo’s most important festivals, Sanja Matsuri, an elaborate 3-day festival.

Also known as “Sanja-sama” (Shrine of the Three Gods), Asakusa Shrine was built in 1649 to honor the three fishermen who founded Sensō-ji. The shrine was originally part of the temple, but was designated as a separate site over 100 years ago. Note that this is one of only a handful of historic buildings left standing after World War II. This shrine was named an “Important Cultural Property” by the Japanese government in 1951.

Look closely at the pair of half-lion, half-dog stone sculptures, called komainu, guarding the shrine’s entrance. These guardians are a common feature of Shinto shrines, with one statue always depicted with an open mouth and the other with a closed mouth. The one with the open mouth is said to be pronouncing “a,” the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet, while the closed mouth statue is pronouncing the last letter, “um.” Together, these two sounds represent the beginning and the end of all things.

Although this shrine is one of the most famous in Tokyo, it’s actually overlooked by many tourists in favor of big, bold Sensō-ji. This makes Asakusa Shrine a more tranquil site by comparison. Take your time and appreciate its subtle features. Built in the gongen-zukuri architectural style, this simple shrine’s buildings have an H-shaped layout and feature numerous ornate carvings. 

The shrine becomes a center of activity during Sanja Matsuri each May, drawing more than 1.5 million local and overseas tourists. During the festival, over 100 neighborhood portable shrines, or mikoshi, are brought to Asakusa Shrine to be blessed. Walk through the streets to see the portable shrines paraded around their respective neighborhoods, bringing good fortune and prosperity to the local residents. 

Asakusa Shrine is open every day and admission is free. Walk here from Asakusa Station, a short distance away.


Guide to Exploring around Asakusa Shrine


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See all 4,144 Properties near Asakusa Shrine
Onyado Nono Asakusa Natural Hot Springs ¥8,309
Onyado Nono Asakusa Natural Hot Springs

Onyado Nono Asakusa Natural Hot Springs

2-7-20, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo, Tokyo
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Asakusa, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hanayashiki Amusement Park and Asakusa Shrine. Sensō-ji Temple and Kaminarimon are also within 10 minutes. Asakusa Station (Tsukuba Express) is only a 3-minute walk and Tawaramachi Station is 9 minutes.

    MUSTARD HOTEL ASAKUSA 2 - Hostel ¥4,145
    MUSTARD HOTEL ASAKUSA 2 - Hostel

    MUSTARD HOTEL ASAKUSA 2 - Hostel

    1-7-11 Hanakawado, Taito, Tokyo, Tokyo
       
      2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Taito, this hostel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sensō-ji Temple and Tokyo Sky Tree. Ueno Park and Tokyo Imperial Palace are also within 6 mi (10 km). Asakusa Station is only a 4-minute walk and Asakusa Station (Tsukuba Express) is 8 minutes.

      APA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi Ekimae ¥7,934
      APA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi Ekimae

      APA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi Ekimae

      Nishia Asakusa 1-2-3, Taito-ku, Tokyo
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Taito, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kaminarimon, Sensō-ji Temple, and Asakusa Shrine. Ueno Park and Ameya-Yokochō are also within 1 mi (2 km). Tawaramachi Station is only a 2-minute walk and Inaricho Station is 9 minutes.

        Asakusa View Hotel ¥9,360
        Asakusa View Hotel

        Asakusa View Hotel

        3-17-1 Nishiasakusa, Taito, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Taito, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hanayashiki Amusement Park, Sensō-ji Temple, and Asakusa Shrine. Ueno Park and Kaminarimon are also within 1 mi (2 km). Asakusa Station (Tsukuba Express) is only a 3-minute walk and Tawaramachi Station is 9 minutes.

          Richmond Hotel Premier Asakusa International ¥9,715
          Richmond Hotel Premier Asakusa International

          Richmond Hotel Premier Asakusa International

          2-6-7 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Asakusa, this hotel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Ueno Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Tokyo Sky Tree and Tokyo Dome. Tokyo Imperial Palace and Tokyo Bay are also within 6 mi (10 km). Asakusa Station (Tsukuba Express) is only a 2-minute walk and Tawaramachi Station is 8 minutes.

            Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa ¥7,426
            Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa

            Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa

            1-30-10 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Asakusa, this ryokan is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tokyo Sky Tree and Ueno Park. Tokyo Dome and Tokyo Imperial Palace are also within 6 mi (10 km). Asakusa Station and Asakusa Station (Tsukuba Express) are within a 5-minute walk.

              Dormy Inn Express Asakusa Hot Spring ¥5,563
              Dormy Inn Express Asakusa Hot Spring

              Dormy Inn Express Asakusa Hot Spring

              1-3-4 Hanakawado, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Taito, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kaminarimon, Sensō-ji Temple, and Asakusa Shrine. Tokyo Sky Tree and Tokyo Solamachi are also within 1 mi (2 km). Asakusa Station is only a 3-minute walk and Asakusa Station (Tsukuba Express) is 8 minutes.

                APA Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon ¥4,628
                APA Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon

                APA Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon

                2-14-1, Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Taito, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Sensō-ji Temple and Sumida Park. Tokyo Sky Tree and Ueno Park are also within 2 mi (3 km). Asakusa Station is only a 3-minute walk and Tawaramachi Station is 6 minutes.