The Sensoji of Asakusa

My first stop in Tokyo, after Narita, was Sensoji, the Buddhist temple located in the busy district of Asakusa. When talking about Japan, we usually imagine a country where the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, the centuries-old temples and modern buildings, harmonically exist. At this temple, in one of the busiest places in metro Tokyo, you can understand why Tokyo has that reputation. Just one step out from the sacred atmosphere of the oldest temple in town, you immediately see the hassle and crowd of Tokyo.

The most famous and prominent temple in Tokyo, Senso-ji was founded in the 7th century, dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. In 628, 2 fishermen found a small statue of Kannon in the nearby Sumida river, and their village chief rebuilt his own house in Asakusa into a temple to enshrine the statue.

Now, the ground actually consists of a complex of spiritual, religious buildings. The biggest is of course Sensoji – the Buddhist temple, with its bell tower.

11138641_10204133740080503_6661138655131304641_n 11188271_10204133710039752_5700045833445025438_n



View from inside the temple


Many try to “collect” as much of the smoke to their faces as possible, believing it will bring good luck

Inside, rather “standard” decorations and statues that you’ll find in any Buddhist temple.

10306320_10204133715359885_8263156739280084471_n 11205546_10204133713199831_1535976474735602678_n

Next to it is a Shinto shrine.

10418245_10204133718399961_5998137196524855_n 11209602_10204133719159980_7732216133431762681_n

As always, people from all over the world come here, writing their wishes on the little pieces of wood with hope they will come true. You can see all kinds of languages.


The long street with souvenir shops and food stalls also attracts many tourists to explore.

11146544_10204133730200256_916481900062167788_n 11150825_10204133727520189_6640335125612163467_n

I would say Senso-ji doesn’t have the quietness and peace of a typical Buddhist temple. There are way too many tourists (as you can see how there are always people obnoxiously showing up in my photos), with so many commerce going on in the area. But within the restless and crowded Tokyo, to have a large enough place for the residents’ spiritual needs is enough to ask.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s