OWL Magazine Korea

Tokyo Asakusa, Senso-ji Temple

The area around Asakusa in Tokyo is one of the prominent places in Tokyo’s 23 wards. It exudes a traditional atmosphere, reminiscent of Japan, where you can often see people strolling around in traditional clothing like kimonos.

It gives a feeling somewhat similar to Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace.

“Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo Asakusa”

At the heart of Asakusa sits Tokyo’s largest temple, Senso-ji. Despite facing the risk of destruction due to past events like the Great Kanto Earthquake and World War II, it has been restored and now serves as a landmark representing Tokyo.

Senso-ji is also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple (浅草観音寺) or just Kannon Temple (觀音寺), deriving its name from “Kannon Bosatsu,” the Buddhist goddess of mercy.

Founded in 628, Senso-ji was established to enshrine a statue of Kannon Bosatsu caught in a fisherman’s net in the sea or Sumida River. However, the existing buildings are typical examples of Edo period temple architecture.

“Main Gate of Senso-ji, Hozomon (Wind and Thunder Gate)”

The main gate leading to Senso-ji is the “Hozomon” or “Kaminarimon,” which translates to the “Thunder Gate.” The “Kaminari” represents the “Wind God,” and “Raijin” represents the “Thunder God.”

At the center of Kaminarimon, there is a massive red lantern. Standing at a height of 3.9 meters, with a diameter of 3.3 meters and weighing an astonishing 700 kg, this lantern is constructed using bamboo from the Tamba region in Kyoto. Approximately 300 sheets of traditional Japanese paper called “washi” are pasted around the frame.

The paper used for the lantern comes from the Japanese paper mulberry trees in the Fukui Prefecture. Additionally, every ten years, starting from 1971, a new lantern is crafted at the Takahashi Lantern Shop in Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto.

“Jokoro (Ever-Burning Incense)”

In the center of Senso-ji, you can find a pot emitting smoke, surrounded by people experiencing the fragrance. This is called “Jokoro,” and it is believed that the aroma has healing properties, improving or curing ailments when it touches the body.

“Shopping Street Around Asakusa Senso-ji”

Around Asakusa Senso-ji, there is a line of neatly maintained shops. These stores offer various items, from snacks to souvenirs. While the street food prices might not be cheap, considering the setting, it provides an excellent opportunity to taste local treats and purchase mementos.

“Tokyo Asakusa, Senso-ji”

  • Address: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
  • Phone: +81 3-3842-0181
  • Website: http://www.senso-ji.jp