Sensoji Temple Tavel Guide
Sensoji Temple, founded in 628, is the oldest temple in Tokyo. Many people believe that the Asakusa Kannon deity enshrined here has the ability to bestow benefits on earth, and around 30 million visitors from throughout Japan and abroad visit the temple every year. It was the epicenter for the development of Edo culture, and these traces still remain today. Many seasonal events are held including the Hozuki Market and Hagoita Market. The huge lanterns hung at Kaminari Gate are very famous throughout Japan. This imposing Buddhist structure features a massive paper lantern dramatically painted in vivid red-and-black tones to suggest thunderclouds and lightning. Catering to the visiting crowds, the surrounding area has many traditional shops and eating places that feature traditional dishes. Nakamise-Dori, the street leading from the Thunder Gate to the temple itself, is lined with small shops selling souvenirs ranging from fans, ukiyo-e, kimono and other robes, Buddhist scrolls, traditional sweets, to Godzilla toys, t-shirts and mobile phone straps. These shops themselves are part of a living tradition of selling to pilgrims who walked to Sensoji.