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Sensoji Temple

Tokyo’s oldest temple was built centuries ago to honor the goddess of mercy. It now draws thousands daily for Buddhist prayer or cultural observation.

The five-story pagoda of Sensoji Temple nestled amid high-rises shows the peaceful coexistence of old and new, spiritual and practical.

Legend says that in 628, two fishermen discovered a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy and, after several attempts to return it to the river, kept it. A temple was originally built in 645 to honor Kannon and the statue was hidden for protection. While structures on the site have been damaged and rebuilt over the centuries, the temple’s popularity has grown under Tokyo’s different ruling regimes.

Leading to the temple is Nakamise, a street of shops with beautifully presented Japanese finger food. Souvenirs, including fans and cotton yukata, casual clothing similar to kimonos, are also available for purchase. Even this shopping street is several centuries old.

Pass through two impressive gates before arriving at the main hall, a five-story pagoda, and the Asajusa Shrine. The distinctive shape of the outer gate, known as Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), is often used as a symbol of Japan.

Admire the Buddhist architecture and statues of the inner buildings. The complex remains an active Buddhist temple with a high priest and monks practicing the spirituality of the Buddhist way of life.

Komagatado Hall holds the Bodhisattva Bato-kannon (a statue of Kannon), which you can view on the 19th of every month and during a major festival every year on April 19. The area has many other special events, including the May festival of the Asakusa Shrine, the Sanja Matsuri and a Samba Carnival in August.

Admission to the temple is free. The grounds are always open while the main hall is open daily from morning to early evening. Subway and rail lines will get you to Asakusa station, which is just outside the temple entrance.


Guide to Exploring around Sensō-ji Temple


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Best Lodging Options Near Sensō-ji Temple

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Onyado Nono Asakusa Natural Hot Springs ¥7,847
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.

    APA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi Ekimae
    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.

        MUSTARD HOTEL ASAKUSA 2 - Hostel ¥3,986
        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.

          Richmond Hotel Premier Asakusa International ¥7,191
          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 ¥7,438
            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.

              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.

                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.