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Sensoji Temple & Asakusa Shrine – Traditional Tokyo in Heart of Asakusa

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Sensoji Temple, or Sensō-ji, is one of Tokyo’s oldest and most famous temple. Arguably one of Tokyo’s most notable landmarks, and is located just 15 minutes away from Tokyo Station in the Asakusa area, Sensoji Temple & Asakusa Shrine are famous with both locals and tourists alike.

 

Kaminarimon, the outer gates of Sensoji Temple

Guarding the outer gates of Sensoji Temple is Kaminarimon (a must-take-a-pic spot), a large red lantern hanging under the temple gate. Venturing through will get us into Nakamise, a long street with petite shops standing closely next to each other, selling cultural goods like yukatas and folding fans.

CLICK HERE for a sensational unique rickshaw tour around Asakusa!

Kaminarimon, the outer gates of Sensoji Temple

Nakamise, street with petite shops selling traditional goods

Nakamise is a big part of the whole Sensoji Temple experience, and it offers a variety of small shops with games and goodies. Some of them sell traditional sweets, such as dango – which is basically made of glutinous and tastes like Japanese Rice Cake (and really sticks to your teeth).

Dango – sticky Japanese rice cakes
Summer Festival Decorations along Nakamise in Sensoji Temple

Rickshaw Tours

Make sure you check out the rickshaw tours when you visit Asakusa. It is quite a unique experience especially when you are with your other half. Think horse-carriage in Paris, but man-rickshaw in Tokyo. Definitely check it out if you are going for kimonos (read below) so you’ll be able to take really cute photos! Click here for a special discount for Rickshaw Tours! 

Traditional Experience in Sensoji Temple, Kimonos!

Sensoji Temple & Asakusa Shrine are one of the most traditional vibe places that you would find in Tokyo, so we would definitely recommend renting a kimono or yukata (in summer months) while strolling through the historic Sensoji Temple to fully experience the local culture.

For the guys: not to worry, the fun isn’t limited to the girls, all kimono shops offer kimono services for guys.

Definitely check out where you can get best value for money Kimonos here!

Fully dressed in Kimono – Sensoji style

This was one of the most unique experiences for me in Tokyo. I remember taking forever to choose from the oh-so-many different colors of outer and inner layers of the kimono, and another dozen different colored waist bands to go with it. It got me worried for a while since I didn’t know how to wear the kimono, but the obasan (auntie working there) dressed me up fully (I was stripped to my undies) and tied me up like a present. I also had my hair done (kimono style) and she pinned on a hair clip which I chose from the collection, on my Japanese style hair-bun. It took an hour for obasan to finish her job. Then, along with my tiny little kimono bag (so I could drop my phone in) and my geta (kimono shoes), I was off strolling down the streets of the Sensoji Temple and Asakusa Shrine with my loved one (although he was too shy to dress in one).

Don’t forget to check out our guide on where to get the best kimonos for a very friendly price in Asakusa!

Yukata in Summer

Staying smart with these tips:

  • Avoid Holidays and Weekends
    Avoid Japanese holidays (click here to see the public holidays this year) and weekends. The crowds are CRAZY.
  • Go Before Noon
    The temple is open from 6AM to 5PM so feel free to come early to avoid large crowds.
  • Sakura Season
    There’s no doubt about it – your photos will indeed be much prettier with sakura blossoms to go with all these ancient stuff. Just remember that that’s what everyone else thinks too.
  • Try the Rickshaw TourOh yes, this is a very touristy thing to do, but trust me. You’ll want to try.

Personally, we would suggest you come around 3-4PM. Rent your kimono, visit the Sensoji temple, take your pictures with the Asakusa Shrine and Kaminarimon, enjoy Nakamise and the local shops. After the sun sets, the shops along Nakamise will start closing and this is when the crowd starts dispersing. Once the night lights are switched on, the whole place increases its edo-period (ancient Japan) climate. For an even more romantic night; plan a traditional dinner date in one of the Japanese restaurants in Asakusa near the Sensoji Temple.

Senoji Temple & Asakusa Shrine at night with cherry blossoms
Asakusa Shrine

How to get here

From Tokyo Station

1.Get on the JR.
Line: Yamanote line
Stop: Get off at Kanda Station
Time: Around 3 minutes
Fees: JP¥140

2.Transfer to subway.
Line: Ginza line
Stop: Asakusa Station
Time: Around 10 minutes
Fees: JP¥170

From Shinjuku Station

1. Get on the JR.
Line: Chuo line
Stop: Get off at Kanda Station
Time: Around 13 minutes
Fees: JP¥170

2. Transfer to subway.
Line: Ginza line
Stop: Asakusa
Time: Around 10 minutes
Fees: JP¥170

Hours & Fees

Main Hall: 6AM to 5PM (from 6:30AM from October to March)
Temple grounds: Always open
Closed: No closing days

Admission: Free

Basic Information

Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Postal code:111-0032
Official Website: http://www.senso-ji.jp

 

 

*Photos are embedded from Pininterest, Instagram and Google images

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