Asakusa - Sensoji 

Asakusa - Sensoji 

Senso-ji is not only Japan’s oldest Buddhist temple, visited by 30 million people each year, but also a significant place of worship. The site originated after Hinokuma and Takenari Hamanari pulled a statue of the Buddhist deity Bodhisattva Kannon up from the Sumida River in 628 AD. In 625 Kannondo Hall was built was a permanent temple dedicated to the compassionate Bodhisattva Kannon. There are eight halls inside the temple as well as decorative gates, gardens and pagodas that can be admired by worshipers and visitors.

Kaminarimon

The Kaminarimon is also known as the Thunder Gate. It comprises the two entrance gates of the Senso-ji in Asakusa. It is a popular tourist attraction. The gate itself is adorned with statues and lanterns and is 11.7 meters tall, 11.4 meters wide and has a total area of 69.3 meters square. Building in 941 by a military commander by the name of Kinmasa, originally it was to protect the great city, and the inner being called the Hozomon. It was reconstructed in 1635 and then again in 1757 and 1865 after a fire damaged it beyond repair.

Sanja Matsuri

Also known as the three shrine festival, the Sanja Matsuri is just one in a series of three festivals that celebrate shinto. Held to honor Hinokuma Hamanari and Hajino Nakatomo who were two of three who founded Senso-ji. It is always celebrated the third weekend of May and is considered the largest of the three festivals. Festivities are at the Asakusa Shrine, beginning with a parade and adorned with three portable shrines for decor.

Nakamise-Dori

One of the oldest shopping centers in Japan, the tradition of the shops of Nakamise-Dori began as early as 1688-1735. Located in Ueno Park there are 20 houses of tea lined in rows for the public to visit. Once organized through the community that shared a temple, it has grown into an amazing historical center for Japanese shops. As time has gone on the number of shops has increased, and the government has taken responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep because of its historical value.

Ichiyo Sakura Matsuri Oiran Dochu

A parade to end all parades, this one is held in April. It is in the neighborhood directly located near the Sensoji temple which is in Asakusa. It is held at a time when there is much celebration around the city for the emergence of cherry blossoms. It is also a parade which celebrates Oiran, which is a nice name for prostitutes, and it offers to those who visit entertainment and rituals that are centuries old.

Kaminriokoshi-Japanese Puffed Rice Cakes

Originally sold by street vendors in the Edo period, this tasty snack cake is a traditional favorite still found on the plates of many restaurants, bakeries and upscale establishments. Made from sweet rice, they are a sweet snack that is covered with syrup and steam roasted to perfection. If you want just a snack, this is the one to try. Popular around town, there isn’t any local who won’t know where to direct you to find it.

Agemanju

One of the largest shopping centers and restaurant squares in Tokyo, if you are going to go visit the shops and eateries, you better get used to crowds. A good mixture of the old with the new, it has traditional cuisine with a mixture of new. You can get your meal from a street vendor or sit down establishment. There isn’t anything you can’t find in this square. Close to transit it is something that you can take the whole family to to enjoy.

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