While the origins are a little hazy, legend says that two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, out of the Sumida River in the year 628. The brothers put it back, but the statue kept returning. The temple was built to honour the goddess, and was completed in 645 – now the oldest temple in Tokyo.
Unique Things to See and Do Near Sensoji Temple
- Shop for unique Japanese souvenirs, like yukata and folding fans
- Grab some traditional food from the vendors, like Kibidango (skewered rice flour dumpling)
- See the Asakusa Shrine, near the temple’s main building
- Come during Sanja Matsuri, the annual shrine festival
- See the Hagoita Market in August, where traditional decorative wooden paddles are sold
- Explore surrounding Tokyo
Information on Sensoji Temple
Sensoji Temple is Tokyo’s most popular temple, so you can expect quite a lot of traffic and tourist groups when visiting. Show up earlier in the morning if you want some alone time – the temple is open from 6 AM to 5 PM, but the temple grounds are always open.
Enter the temple through the Thunder Gate, and you’ll be greeted by a long shopping street that leads to the second gate, the Hozoman. Walking through here will take you to the temple’s main hall, and its five-story pagoda. Much of this area was destroyed in World War II but has been rebuilt to identical specifications and construction. Nearby is the Asakusa Shrine, built by Tokugawa Jemitsu in 1649.
Admission to the entire temple complex is free.
Did you ALSO know…?
Sensoji is Tokyo’s most visited temple.
Getting to Sensoji Temple
Sensoji Temple is very easy to reach, as Tokyo has an impressive transit system. The temple is located just outside Asakusa Station, which is served by the Ginza Subway Line, the Asakusa Subway Line, and Tobu Railways. The easiest links are from Tokyo Station and Shinjuku Station.
Ready to plan your visit to Tokyo? Check out these popular guides and trips.