.: Temple grounds :.
Pilgrims and tourists flocking to Senso-ji have shopped at the small stores here for centuries. Dominating the entrance to the temple is the Kaminarimon or "Thunder Gate". This imposing Buddhist structure features a massive paper lantern dramatically painted in vivid red-and-black tones to suggest thunderclouds and lightning. Beyond the Kaminarimon is Nakamise-dori with its shops, followed by the Hozomon or "Treasure House Gate" which provides the entrance to the inner complex. Within the precincts stand a stately five-story pagoda and the main hall, devoted to Kannon.
Many tourists, both Japanese and from abroad, visit Senso-ji every year. Catering to the visiting crowds, the surrounding area has many traditional shops and eating places that feature traditional dishes (hand-made noodles, sushi, tempura, etc.). 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 (woodblock prints), kimono and other robes, Buddhist scrolls, traditional Japanese sweets, to Star Wars toys, t-shirts and smartphone an iPad covers. These shops are part of a long and existing tradition of selling to pilgrims who made the journey to Senso-ji.
Within the temple itself, and also at many places on its approach, there are o-mikuji stalls. For a suggested donation of 100 yen, visitors may consult the oracle and divine answers to their questions. Querents shake labelled sticks from enclosed metal containers and read the corresponding answers they retrieve from one of 100 possible drawers.
Within the temple grounds is a quiet contemplative garden maintained and manicured in the distinctive Japanese style.
Senso-ji is the focus of Tokyo's largest and most popular festival, Sanja Matsuri. This takes place in late spring, and sees the surrounding streets closed to traffic. The next Sanja Matsuri Festival will take place from May 20th until May 22nd, 2016.
.: Nakamise-dori :.
The Nakamise-dori is a street on the approach to the temple. The street was created in the early 18th century, when neighbors of Senso-ji were granted permission to set up shops on the approach to the temple. However, in May 1885, the government of Tokyo ordered all shop owners to leave. In December of that same year, the area was reconstructed in Western-style brick. During the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake many of the shops were destroyed, then rebuilt in 1925 using concrete, only to be destroyed again during the bombings of World War II.
The length of the street is approximately 250 meters and contains around 89 shops.
.: Sensoji Temple entry fee :.
.: Asakusa Hotels near the Temple :.
TAGS: Sensoji, Temple, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan
© 2016 Sensoji Temple | sensojitemple.com. All rights reserved
site is an information resource only and is not affiliated with Senso-ji, or related
companies and organisations, in any way.