Exploring Japan: Strolling through Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon Temple)
I went to Asakusa quite a while ago and was totally blown away.
It was winter time and I had planned to spend some time at Asakusa. I had heard a lot about the area and it was definitely one of the top places to see when you go to Tokyo.
Being my usual lazy self, I was unprepared. I had only researched a little bit about the area so I didn't know exactly what to do or see. I didn't even have internet to look anything up. But I just knew I had to go see those giant lanterns at the temple. Yep, I'm a great traveller... haha
When I arrived, needless to say, I was lost. Thankfully it wasn't hard to find the temple. Just follow the crowd of noisy tourists and you'll be fine. I don't remember if I went on a weekday or during the weekend, but it was VERY crowded. Although, I believe it can get even more crowded on other days.
Below is the entrance I entered from. I can't read kanji that well, so I'm not sure what it says? It might say "Nakamise Shopping Street" but don't quote me on that. If there is anyone who knows what this says, don't hesitate to leave a comment below. ^^
Before getting to the main temple area, you have to walk through Nakamise Shopping Stree, the local market area. This is where you can find a number of different local snacks, local goods and souvenirs. I was more enthralled by the pretty signs hanging above the shops and crowds.
I tried my best to take pictures without all the people, but there's only so much I could capture. haha
Below is a picture of a man making "taiyaki", which is a Japanese fish-shaped cake. Usually, it is stuffed with "anko" or red bean paste although there are many other flavours available. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to take pictures of the taiyaki and so I secretly snapped this picture......
Continuing down the road, I was finally able to make out the entrance to the temple, the Kaminarimon also known as the Kaminari Gate! As you can see there were quite a lot of people coming and going from the temple.
Past the Kaminarimon is Sensoji Temple. Sensoji temple's operating times are from 6am to 5pm and admission is free! The only things that do require money are the charms and fortunes you can get at the temple.
This is one of the most well-known of the temples in Tokyo and is also one of the oldest.
While the temple and its surroundings are absolutely beautiful in the wintertime, I'd definitely like to come back during spring or New Years. Although the New Year would mean I might need to brave hoards of people, I think it would be a cool experience.
More information about Asakusa:
To check out my other posts about Japan, click here.