If you have ever thought about visiting Tokyo, you will have definitely heard of Senso-ji or Asakusa.
It is a famous attraction that most first comers to Tokyo would go and visit.
Senso-ji (浅草寺、Senso-ji temple), a famous temple located in Asakusa（浅草）, is the oldest temple in Tokyo. It was opened in year 628 and there is an average of 30 million people visiting it every year. With the growth of Japan’s growing number of tourists, there are probably more people visiting now; no matter how the weather is, you always see crowds and crowds of people gathering at Senso-ji.
The famous Kaminari-mon（雷門）; it is the entrance of Senso-ji.
Tried to take a nice picture but a taxi passed by at the very moment….because I was taking this picture in the middle of the street, I gave up after the light changes…
Walking a bit closer, waited for a while and finally got a picture without anyone’s head in it lol
The back of Kaminari-mon….still a lot of people…
In June this year, Kaminari-mon was covered up for cleaning and easy restoration.
All over Japan, this kind of restoration would be taking place without much prior announcements, so sometimes you might not be able to see what you have wanted to…but that means you’ll have to find a chance to come back again!!
After passing through the Kaminari-mon, you’ll see the famous road leading to Senso-ji; Nakamise-dori (仲見世通り、Nakamise-dori street).
On the Nakamise-dori you’ll find lots of shops selling local food and souvenirs.
The whole street is 250 meters long, lines up with 89 shops, most of them with long history and all of the exterior looking similar.
It is really nice strolling in the street, try some food and slowly heading to the main hall of Senso-ji.
Last time when I visited, I couldn’t stop myself from buying some rice crackers.
The most famous rice cracker of this shop is Okaki（おかき）; it is a salty cracker made out of rice.
Rice cracker is a famous type of snack you would find in Japan, you should definitely try some when you have the chance!
Good news is that these rice cracker shops usually have some samples for you to try before you need to buy them! It is also the same for this one at Nakamise-dori, so stop buy and give it a try
On the left is the Okaki, on the right are different types of rice crackers sold at the shop.
From the top, the basic soy sauce rice cracker, the spicy rice cracker, and the soy sauce rice cracker wrapped by seaweed.
Another nice thing about Nakamise-dori is that depending on the season, the street would be decorated differently.
You can visit it at different times of the year and have a different look at the street again.
This photo was taken in February this year; Nakamise-dori was decorated for the New Year season.
This photo was taken in November, and Nakamise-dori is looking perfect for the autumn season.
Eating, buying, and strolling down the street, you’ll finally reach the main hall of Senso-ji.
This is the second arch of Senso-ji after Kaminari-mon.
Behind this arch, there is a huge pair of shoe made out of weed; it has the name of the place which made this weed shoe.
Murayama city in Yamagata prefecture have been making this gigantic weed shoe for many many years and every 10 years or so, a new pair would be presented to Senso-ji and be welcoming numbers of visitors every day.
We took our time strolling down Nakamise-dori and finally reaching the area of the main hall.
…to continue, please see Part 2
Visited on 2016/02, 2016/06, 2016/11
- Address: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0032
- Access: Asakusa station（浅草駅）, 5 to 7 minutes on foot
- Opening hours: Summer (April – September) 06:00 – 17:00; Winter (October – March) 06:30 – 17:00; Light-ups at night usually starts after sunset to around 23:00; you can access the temple area anytime, though the shops and main hall won’t be open, you can still pay your respect. Open all year.
- Fees: Free to worship
- Time needed: About 45 minutes (Including Nakamise-dori and Senso-ji)
- Website: Senso-ji (English, Chinese, and Korean version available)
- All Images: TabiScarp